Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Running around like a clown on purpose..."

We spent Laura and Jason's last night in Paris seeing Mika, a bubble gum pop star/gay icon whose songs are dangerously catchy, sung in falsetto and always a lot of fun. His show was somewhere between Freddie Mercury and an acid trip--he's all about bright colors, outrageous costumes and lavish sets. Spectacle, baby.

The concert itself was in the 'omnisports palace' in Bercy, an arena built into a grassy hill in a way that must have been really futuristic in the 80's. It was packed with a young, energetic crowd. We opted for the floor, so we spent our pre-concert time enjoying one of the perks of European venues: cheap, plentiful beer.
Mika's biggest fan base is in France, so he goes all out for his Paris shows--I think we must have cycled through about 7 set and costume changes, not to mention a collection of puppets and a back-up opera singer. The concert started with a bizarre video intro from Sir Ian McKellan (otherwise known as Gandolf or Magneto) announcing Mika's participation in a space expedition. When Mika came out on stage, it was in anti-gravity slow-motion as an astronaut among glowing celestial orbs:
Mika changed costumes every couple songs, rotating through hats, tail coats, t-shirts with tails (which I'm convinced are going to be the next hipster trend) and my favorite, a long "fur" coat that looked like it was made from muppets:
I was also impressed by the fact that Mika did all of his talking in French, and even translated the first verse of Grace Kelly into French for the live performance. We dug it. Here we are dancing and singing along (awkwardly, of course...)
The encore was ridiculous, with huge balloons tumbling down from the top of the bleachers to be bounced around by the crowd, while the entire crew of back-up singers, musicians and puppeteers joined Mika beneath streamers and confetti on stage.

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