LIVE REVIEW: Mika – The Tivoli

It’s been 11 years since Mika was last in Australia, and to be honest that fact still shocks me because the Beirut-born performer has one of the most impressive discographies from the mid 2000’s. And on top of that, he’s been cohesively releasing strong pop albums that have heard his songwriting getting bolder and more vulnerable with time. 

While his time in-between visits has been questionably long, his Australian fans haven’t held it against him as they turned up in droves to pack out The Tivoli for the opening night in Brisbane. 

With the prominent opening synths of ‘Ice Cream’ oozing through the speakers, Mika flamboyantly made his way onto the stage in a red-suit accompanied by some energetic dance moves that he grooved his way across the stage showcasing during ‘Dear Jealousy’ and ‘Relax, Take It Easy’. 

Excitingly gushing to the crowd about finally being back in Australia after a very long time, he explained how tonight he would be demonstrating the different ways you can get intimate with someone without taking a single piece of clothing off. First up was singing. And while the crowd were already loudly singing along, he broke down the production to hear them singing stripped back during ‘Relax, Take It Easy’ before spreading some love with ‘Origin Of Love’.

Throughout the whole show he was intently gazing into the crowd and interacting with the ecstatic fans who were singing every word back to him. But during ‘Platform Ballerinas’ he spotted one in particular that he wanted to bring on stage. Local drag queen Skye Blue was brought onto the stage and she didn’t hold back by doing a jump split and dancing her way across the stage like she owned it. The whole time Mika just had a giant smile on his face, with a look of disbelief of how perfect and special this moment became. 

The next step of intimacy was dancing, and to show the crowd just how eager he was to dance with them, he jumped into the crowd during ‘Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) and just danced his way through the mosh.

Making his way back to the stage, he powered through recent album favourites ‘Tiny Love’, ‘Paloma’ and ‘Tomorrow’ before he jumped on-top of his piano for a slightly stripped back version of the innuendo filled ‘Lollipop’. And the special moments kept rolling with an acoustic performance of ‘Happy Ending’ which ended with the venue falling dead silent while Mika sang a-cappella without a microphone and belted out the final chorus. Now, THAT was a moment I think everyone in that venue will always remember. Chills. 

Ending the show on a euphoric high, ‘Love Today’ and ‘We Are Golden’ had the sweat dripping from everyone’s faces as they jumped and danced along with Mika one final time. 

As he bowed and said good night, everyone knew he couldn’t properly leave without playing one special song in particular. With the “Mika” chants growing, he finally returned with a new polka dot suit on, for the breakthrough hit ‘Grace Kelly’. Thanking the crowd one last time, he ended the show with a reprise of ‘Tiny Love’ followed by the high energy of ‘Stay High’.

During that brief 90 minutes, Mika delivered one of the best pop shows I have ever witnessed. It was a show that felt so intimate but also carried so much energy at it’s catchy hook filled core. He was hilariously candid and heartfelt with the audience as he explained the real stories behind some of his most famous songs. But he also knew how to bring the party and highlight his talented artistry with ease. 

Opening the show was rising Melbourne newcomer Chela, who immediately grabbed everyone’s attention with her colourful set full of indie-pop bangers, groovy bass riffs and slickly choreographed numbers. 

Performing tracks from her debut EP, she highlighted her strong understanding of creating a visual pop show even from the most minimal foundations. With just her and one dancer on stage, they wore matching outfits and cohesively interacted throughout the whole show with intertwining choreography that brought their two worlds together. 

‘Heart O’ Hearts’ was a clear standout during her set while a moment when her and her dancer danced their way through the crowd for one euphoric embrace also felt pretty special. 

Check out the full gallery captured by Gabrielle Rankine Photography BELOW;

Photos by Gabrielle Rankine

Mika Australian Tour

Wednesday 26 February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney

Friday 28 February – The Forum, Melbourne