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17th May 2022

Sorry but we need a Mika arena tour immediately

Sarah McKenna Barry

It’s been several days since the Eurovision finale, and I’m still thinking about Mika.

Last week, fans were equal parts thrilled and gobsmacked to see pop star Mika join Laura Pausini and Alessandro Cattelan as the hosts of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy.

Throughout the week, Mika did a stellar job of hosting, impressing fans with his language skills, displaying his charisma, and even indulging in some cheekier moments at times (Who could forget that hand gesture sequence?).

As a host, he didn’t neccesarily win unilateral praise – there were some naysayers on Twitter – but after his stellar interval performance, many were converted.

To an audience of millions, Mika packed in three classics – Love Today, Grace Kelly and Happy Ending – in a mashup alongside his new song Yo Yo, and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. Some fans declared Mika the real winner of the night, and I have to say I agree.

The arrangement in itself was nothing short of astounding. With the opening bars of Love Today, I was reminded of the hold Mika had on the charts in the mid 2000s, and from there, it only got better. The segue into Grace Kelly was prefaced with a nod to a cover of the song that was popular on TikTok last year, and as Mika joined in on the final “I could be brown, I could be blue…” I was transported back to 2007, and reminded of days walking into school with that song blaring on my iPod shuffle.

After delivering his signature ‘Ka-Ching’, it was time for him to debut his latest single, Yo-Yo. The track is a departure from his earlier pop sound, but with a solid beat he dipped his toe into the realm of dance music, and we’re excited to hear more new music from him.

The arrangement came to a satisfying conclusion with Happy Ending, a track that best showcases Mika’s impressive vocal range.

But it wasn’t just his vocals that have us calling out for a global tour – it was the whole performance value. With rousing choreography, impeccable costuming, creative staging and a tasteful amount of pyrotechnics, any other performer may have been lost in the production, but not Mika. His easy stage presence and confidence meant that he stood out on stage, captivating every Eurovision fan tuning in. At the start of his career, music critics drew parallels between Mika and Freddie Mercury, and 15 years later, that comparison still feels apt.

I’ve had Mika’s Eurovision performance essentially on repeat since Saturday, and one thing that stands out to me is the audience’s response. When Happy Ending opens, the crowd joins in immediately with an emotive, “THIS IS THE WAY YOU LEFT ME, I’M NOT PRETENDING…”, and that in itself is a testament to the impact Mika’s album Life in Cartoon Motion had back in 2007, and the legacy it has left.

The performance was enduring too. Days later, TikTok is awash with Mika fan edits, and in the comments, fans are sharing memories of listening to him as a teenager. Many have said that they’re struggling to listen to any other artist since the weekend, and honestly, same.

All this this is not to say that Mika’s musical career has been quiet since he first burst onto the scene. Over the past 10 years, he has released four stellar albums, toured throughout Europe and established himself as a talent judge on a number of singing competition shows. This summer, he has scheduled performances in London, France, and a number of cities in Italy, but what the world truly needs is for him to embark on a massive arena tour. Imagine bopping along to Love Today in the 3Arena, or having a proper cry to Any Other World alongside thousands in Croke Park?

It’s what the people want.