Gig reviews: Mika @ Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas

 

You know how some places can steal your heart from the first second you arrive? You feel it’s almost like your destiny to go back – some kind of a soul mate thing? Well Las Vegas is not one of those places for me. I was still really curious to see it and I’m happy I did. It’s always nice to have a real mental picture of famous places so many movies, books and songs refer to. I stayed two nights and saw only Strip which was a noise polluted, absolutely nerve-wracking place full of horrendous overconsumption (and all I could think of was getting a hammer and destroying the game machines one by one, lol, but it was probably just me, I can tolerate only pleasant sounds). The street view was interesting though and the night-time view especially impressive with thousands of colorful lights.

The main reason (for me) to travel to Vegas was of course the temptation to see Mika performing in this intimate, tiny venue and I loved the venue indeed. He did a show at Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas on Friday and I went to see the place on Thursday and was absolutely thrilled to see it. The upstairs night club was empty but people were allowed to go there and I had a possibility to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet and see how small and intimate the place was. I had breakfast and lunch at Hard Rock Cafe restaurant on Friday and the food was surprisingly good and the service really friendly (not sure why I was so surprised, I guess I didn’t expect Hard Rock Cafe to serve good food) and I had some nice chats with people working there (one of them happened to be a tattooer for example). I met Lucy (who I met in San Francisco) a couple of hours before the doors were opened and people gradually started to arrive. I really loved the venue. The stage was low with no barriers, and I got a great spot for the gig in front of stage near the piano and immediately knew the show was going to be one of those rare moments to hear and see Mika really close at small stage and decided to concentrate on enjoying every second.

Max and Curtis did their DJ set and they really are getting better, imo. The sound is loud enough, they dance and laugh a bit and they’ve added some catchy old songs for the crowd to sing along. It’s still too long, I’m sorry to say it. I enjoy watching them, but a part of the audience seemed to be bored, and they probably should concentrate on a shorter set with really classic, catchy hits.

The show was fantastic. The crowd wasn’t nearly as good as it was in California though, and I think even Mika was disturbed by people talking loudly at the back of the venue. He chatted to the audience, talking about Las Vegas to get their attention but mostly concentrated on his performance, singing partly even eyes closed. I’m definitely not complaining though, he sounded perfect and I really enjoyed listening to him and watching him, Max and Curtis work together (he made them drum until they were exhausted, so hilarious to watch!). It was a lovely evening. He was really close and his voice was absolutely perfect, I felt really lucky to be there. I especially enjoyed Underwater, Happy Ending, Stardust and OMS (he added HE and Stardust to the original setlist, very happy about it).

The more I hear the new songs Hia Leah and Century Man the more I love them. LOVE. And when he started Century Man I felt like bursting with excitement and I had to seriously control myself to stay still because everyone else around me looked just calm and normal like not realizing what was happening (well I guess most of them didn’t because they heard the song for the first time).

I’m not sure if I should say it was just another tour for me. It wasn’t. It was perfect and exactly how I’ve always wanted to see him performing. And I’m not sure if he prefers doing bigger shows but I think he should do more intimate shows like this. It maybe doesn’t bring him as much money (as bigger shows/festivals do) but it definitely brings him a lot of respect and real music lovers to the audience. Everyone can see how talented he is; it’s impossible to do amazing and special simple shows like this without being amazing and special for real. I loved this tour and saw my all time favorite shows.