Concert review: Mika in Stockholm

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Cosmopolitan popster Mika is a great showman and tours with a great band. The audience at his gig in Stockholm last night was thoroughly charmed by the friendliness and musical mastery on offer. Mika traces his musical ancestry back to acts like the Beatles, Queen, Elton John and George Michael, which would make for a good concert experience even if the front man didn’t say a word. But he also entertained us with effortless improvised stage patter — part of it in Swedish, even though he makes only a single stop here on his tour! Psychedelic animated backdrop projections and dancers in outlandish costumes reminded me of of Montreal’s stage show. And Mika’s studio-heavy pop translated beautifully to the live format.

The audience was unusually all-ages for a pop gig and there was a fine mix of hipsters and everyday Joes like myself. It may have been my imagination or my selective Darwin-determined gaze, but there seemed to be unusually many of the big girls whose beauty one of Mika’s hits extols. Myself, I brought 11-y-o Junior and his buddy, and they loved it – which was great since neither of them had been to a pop concert since they learned to walk. Both study music, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they ended up on stage at similar events in the 2020s. We’re laying the groundwork now.

Mika has only two albums on his discography so far. But seeing him on stage last night I felt that this guy has it in him to be doing this for decades. A hard-working musician of great talent!

Up-and-coming Swedish pop act Ola Joyce opened together with his 6-piece band, and they did a fine job too. An album is in the works.

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