By Jeff Walsh
Mika's recent show at the Fox Theater in Oakland, supporting his new album "The Boy Who Knew Too Much," started on the wrong foot. Well, more accurately, Mika ended his show in Los Angeles the night before on the wrong foot, which had him a bit hobbled in Oakland, where he spent a lot of time on one leg, and using a flourescent-enhanced crutch to stay off his left foot. I've seen enough injured performers on concert already (lead singer of The Kaiser chiefs jumping around in a leg cast, and Pink recently avoided her aerial work due to a shoulder injury) to not think twice about it, but for some reason, it sort of deflated my experience of a Mika concert.
Mika concerts are parties. The music is upbeat. The crowd is ready to dance. And the glue holding it all together is Mika, who sets the tone.
So, watching Mika try his hardest to dance around, with his injured leg actually buckling out from under him at times, it sort of set me off. He was doing his best to make sure we were having fun, but you see that he was pushing himself into that role, as opposed to previous shows where it was completely effortless and natural. It just wasn't fun watching someone in pain trying to create a huge party vibe.
Interestingly, if you closed your eyes, it was a normal Mika show. His leg didn't affect his voice or energy in that regard, and his vocals and band were great.
The set list (see below) was a nice blend of songs from his two albums, which work well together. Some things stayed the same, for good reason. Mika is smart enough to know "Relax (Take It Easy)" is an amazing opening number, and that "Lollipop" is a great closer, so those two tunes stayed in place from last time.
The new material such as "We Are Golden" and "Blame It On The Girls" were seemingly known word-for-word by everyone in the pit, and there seemed to be no difference in their knowledge or energy level for most of the new material. They knew it as well as the old stuff.
Mika always puts a lot of production value into the shows. This time, he entered wearing an astronaut suit, on a black stage bedecked with white spheres. When he was mid-stage, he removed the spacesuit, showing his lean hot chest, and then dragged the spacesuit behind him. This was before any song had started, just a random Cirque Du So-Gay moment.
Other touches were the chubby dancers for "Big Girls" and huge baloons tossed into the crowd for "Lollipop," unlike previous tours where he and the other band members came out in animal costumes before "Lollipop" started.
After the show, Mika said his leg could take up to 10 weeks to heal, and that the tour goes on. Hopefully, he'll be able to get that healed up so he can return to leading the party in full force.
Big Girls (You Are Beautiful)
Stuck in the Middle
Pick Up Off the Floor
One Foot Boy
Blame It on the Girls
I See You
We are Golden