Ever since he colorfully exploded onto the music scene in 2007, international singing sensation Mika has been delighting audiences across the globe with his bright and shiny stage shows.
Fresh off his brand new release, “The Origin of Love,” the charmingly silly British showman made his long-awaited return to Los Angeles at the Fonda Theatre on Sunday night, dazzling the crowd with new songs, and, of course, some old favorites.
Mika took command of the show immediately, bursting on stage with “Relax (Take It Easy),” the dance anthem from his debut “Life in Cartoon Motion.” Next, Mika reminded us how he is a pop music chameleon, playing an extended version of “Blue Eyes,” giving it a beachy, island-inspired vibe. After back-to-back crowd pleasers “Billy Brown” and “Blame it on the Girls,” he enchanted the crowd to his first new song “Lola,” frolicking and sauntering across the stage only as Mika can.
As the baseline for “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” began, the crowd roared with enthusiasm as he lept atop a bejeweled platform, captivating the audience with his hip-swaying and acrobatics. On previous tours, Mika had curvy women in tutus join him onstage for this song, but this time it was Mika alone who impressively handled the performance.
Later on, almost as if to request the audience’s approval, he asked “parlez vous francais?” and sang the new song “Emily” in its original French version “Elle Me Dit.” The singer’s sweat-soaked curls bounced atop his head as he jumped in the air for the song’s conclusion.
Having had the pleasure of seeing Mika’s live shows more than half a dozen times, I soon realized this was a new, more mature Mika. For the new song “Stardust,” he scaled back the track, singing only with the accompaniment of a piano, and reminded us that aside from the amusing spectacles and theatrics, Mika has an incredible voice that has amazing range and depth. Mika didn’t let us forget his ability to tug at the heartstrings with the ballads “Underwater” and “Happy Ending.” The presence of a choir (outfitted in polka dot robes no less) onstage to accompany him made the live performances of the slower songs unforgettable.
Then it came the moment for the song that started it all, “Grace Kelly,” a tune that everyone in the crowd clearly had been waiting for. And for this, his faithful choir, who had been standing side stage the entire night, joined him for an adorable semi-choreographed dance routine.
For the always highly anticipated (and expected) encore, Mika, adorned in a bedazzled black fedora, went out with a bang choosing two of his most positive and uplifting anthems, a revamped version of “Lollipop” and “We Are Golden.”
A Mika show is always high-energy, cartoonish, over the top and a whole lot of fun. Mika previously said he likened his debut album to his childhood phase, and the following “The Boy Who Knew Too Much” was more of his adolescent time. It’s very apparent that, now on his third record, he is growing up, but is still holding on to that campy, childish charm that makes him so irresistible.
“The Origin of Love” is in stores and on iTunes now.
-- Anthony Ramos