Mika at the London Palladium
The London Palladium holds a firm place in Mika’s heart: he tells the crowd it was the first stage he ever performed on when he was a chorus boy in Oliver. Last night he was headlining the same stage, encouraging the crowd to rock the sleeping mice in the dressing room who where there when he was a child. Throughout the concert Mika opened up about the stories behind songs that he had never revealed before. This, alongside his grand reveal that the whole gig was being secretly recorded live for Chinese television, certainly made it a more memorable experience.
In the setting of the Palladium theatre it could be nothing other than tame as most people were sitting down. At times, Mika’s energy on stage did not translate to a similar response from the crowd – whose most extreme movement was swaying. Vocally, Mika is very strong, his classics Grace Kelly and Lollipop are performed with the ease of songs which have been performed hundreds of times. If anything, Mika’s problem is that the numbers sound too perfected: even at moments when he cuts off to speak to the audience, or at one point sings without a microphone, it seems as if it has all been planned. Having said this, Relax, Take it Easy was performed more honestly and with emotion that appeared to be of the moment as he explained that the song was inspired by the 7/7 attacks.
The controlled fun of the concert extended to the stage, which had the appearance of the set of a Musical: a throne with a huge “M” taking central position, two neon signs for Paradise – which extend out of an organ – and Heaven were also randomly part of the set. At one point his piano sprayed forth multi-coloured confetti, to the audience’s enjoyment. This mishmash certainly fits, but if anything Mika also seemed more controlled than normal. Nonetheless, his rapport with the audience was strong: he even joined the crowd in the dress circle to sing the chorus of Staring at the Sun.
The crowd certainly love him, not in the way a rock group’s fans will head bang in time to the music. Here they showed their love with huge “we love MIKA” banners and screamed every time he moved. A steady and solid performance, not exceptional, but he made the fans happy.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information about Mika and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Staring at the Sun here: