Mika sets the stage alight with sensational Euro-pop show

Pop singer Mika hit the O2 Apollo stage in a feast for the eyes and soul last night with a theatrical performance that lit the venue up. 

The international pop-sensation brought his ‘Apocalypse Calipso’ tour to Manchester – his first musical performance in the city for 12 years. 

And his much anticipated return delivered in every aspect. 

As the audience quickly filled the historic venue they were treated to a DJ set playing classics from ABBA, Fleetwood Mac and Sophie Ellis-Bexter among other club classics. 

The set juxtaposed Mika’s live performance in its stoicism but sufficed in warming the crowd up for what was to come. 

Mika, 40, who was born in Lebanon, burst onto the stage with his 2012 hit ‘Origin of Love’ in what would be the first of seven outfits of the night. The singer donned an entirely red suit with a black bow tie, as he began what would be an evening of emphatic dancing. 

His energy infectious from the moment the spotlight hit him, Mika willed the audience to let go and have the time of their lives for the evening calling them ‘deliciously mad’ and inciting them to let loose. 

The mood in the venue truly shifted when the singer descended into the audience during his classic hit ‘Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)’.

Comic and British icon Jo Brand introduced the song via a VT and Mika promptly stormed undeterred through the unruly audience. 

Jo Brand – Voiceover and cartoon VT

The Brit award winner truly gave into the moment and let himself be consumed by the enamor presented by those that surrounded him. 

Making his way up to the gods, Mika arrived at the front of the seated area in front of a young girl. 

He announced: “You are the future” as they counted in the reprise of Big Girl together in a special moment. 

It was at this point that the audience gave in to the chaos of the concert, Mika had demonstrated his commitment to his performance and was rewarded with a crowd that adored his every move. 

Mika in the gods with the crowd during ‘Big Girl’

The singer often remarked anecdotes before a song that added a personal touch to performances that were already emotionally charged. 

He started his only song of the evening performed in French ‘Elle me dit’ by sharing with the audience that the song is about his mum not understanding who he was when he was younger. 

As the song reached its climax Mika announced that his response to his mother’s scepticism surrounding his career, that they should just dance.

And dance Mika’s mum did. 

The singer later said last time he was in Manchester his mum stood near the bar at the back of the room dancing her heart out. 

Mika treated his audience to his hit with Ariana Grande – ‘Popular song’ which he had previously not been performing on this tour.

As the show came to its finale, Mika brought out his plethora of hits from the start of his career, the infamous ‘Grace Kelly’ was perhaps the best-received song of the evening. 

Mika during ‘Grace Kelly’

But it was during ‘Happy Ending’ that finally Mika’s bravado broke when he said “for the first time in a very long time, you have made me emotional,” after what can only be described as a chorus of people chanting the star’s name. 

It was a display of humanity from what had been up until that point a high energy, massively camp performance. 

Mika’s performance was matched by elaborate set design and lighting production that took the show to another level. 

Each song was paired with an accompanying video tape that played in the background, enhancing the show to be a visual feast for the eyes. 

Not least, Mika punctuated his songs with pyrotechnics that often surprised him as well as the audience when they shot into the air.

Mika jumping during his performance of ‘Relax, Take It Easy’

And as the crowd filtered out of the venue after Mika had left the stage, rave reviews could be heard from the audience as they excitedly chatted among themselves.

Jessie Waring, who attended the gig with her mum, said: “I expected a lot coming into the show but that was more incredible than I ever could have imagined.

“He did every song I wanted him to and more, I was thrilled!” 

It is clear to see why Mika has remained a celebrated and successful character in the music industry for over 15 years, his songs fill you with nostalgia and his concerts centre on making sure the audience have a fantastic time.

And for that reason it is worth every penny to go and see this beautifully chaotic concert live. 

Mika continues his international tour with dates in London and Dublin before heading to France for the summer.

All images taken by Olivia Hughes

Related Articles