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Concert review: Mika at the Hard Rock Cafe

The Details

MIKA
March 29, Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.

“I’m in Vegas, I’m playing an acoustic show, I can’t disappoint ... and I just scratched Sarah McLachlan’s piano.”

That line got a big cheer. So either Mika’s fans hate Sarah McLachlan or, more likely, Mika delved into his show with full force. It’s the equivalent of snapping a guitar string, which people just eat up. Gives them something to talk about the next day, like: “Springsteen rocked so hard he snapped his string!” Seriously, if I ever become a guitar player, I’m going to walk onstage with a deliberately weak string.

Where was I? Right, Mika. The British songwriter started off with his hit “Grace Kelly,” moved into the oboe-accompanied “Toy Boy,” and then, boom, the McLachlan scratch.

Mika kept the big hits coming early on with “Lollipop.” The song’s a cappella break reminded me of Pentatonix, the last show I saw at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip, which is quickly becoming my favorite Vegas music venue. Seriously, even the speakers in the restroom are perfect, crisp, ideal levels—a joy to urinate.

Where was I? Right, “Lollipop.” So the toms and the snare came in and as the song came to an end, the entire crowd was dancing. Mika explained why: “My sister did ballet and I did tap—I never want to hear the song 'New York, New York' again—and that music stayed with me. So now I find ways to put tap dance rhythms into my songs.”

That’s one great thing about Mika: He explains his decisions. Go to YouTube and see for yourself—you’ll easily find videos of Mika explaining the bulk of his songwriting choices, which helps you understand and appreciate his music even more.

The other great thing about Mika is that all his songs are radio-friendly. Every one could be a hit. So now, we’ll just have to wait and see which song from his new album Origin of Love breaks out.

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