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Oh wow! Wow wow wow WOW!
OK, I’ll say it. I’ll get my one complaint out of the way first. Kylie didn’t play my favourite song (Your Disco Needs You).
But that minor point aside, what a fabulous gig!
This was the first time I’ve seen Kylie in concert (although my partner does remind me from time to time about how he saw Kylie years ago then met her afterwards, said hello to her, and how she kissed him on the cheek – aww); I have heard many times that she puts on a great show, so I had high expectations, and they were certainly exceeded on this one.
Interestingly there was no curtain at the start hiding the set, much of it was visible, albeit dimly lit, with four draps gently washing over the set, with the whole thing lit in blue (looking as one might expect from her album cover)., while a DJ played to pass the time, before sinking along with his decks into the stage as the houselights dimmed and the show started with Aphroditie as the stage was revealed in its glory, complete with 7 video-screens at the back, and rear-centre Kylie appeared from a gigantic shell, and we were off, music being provided by her 4-piece live band and a host of backing singers and dancers who, along with Kylie, treated us to a range of costume changes throughout the evening (although it has to be said most of her male dancers remained bereft of much in the way of costumes at all – Kylie clearly understands her main audience comprising as it predominantly did straight women and gay men).
Not that the stage was the only performance area; there was a V running from the stage sides to a podium in the middle of the arena which was often used. At one point Kylie, singing I Believe In You, was in a chariot being pulled (by the aforementioned scantily clad gentlemen) along the V to the middle and back the other side.
Later we had an Angel descending from above the stage while Kylie climbed aboard and was flown (whilst singing Looking For An Angel, naturally) to the central podium again. Here we were treated to an excellent cover of The Eurythmics “There Must Be An Angle (Playing With My Heart)” amongst other treats.
At one point she brought up the houselights to get a good look t the crowd, asked for suggestions for a song to sing, and performed an impromptu and unaccompanied (other than by 20,000 voices!) rendition of her 1989 hit Hand On Your Heart. Completely unaided by the band, and note-perfect (even if she did have to restart after a couple of lines to get the words right!) – hearing from friends who went to other nights, it is pretty clear that this WAS an unplanned song, and her performance all the more impressive for it.
Talking of good versions of songs, I absolutely loved her live version of Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. I know this was a hit when it came out, but it never really did it for me – an inoffensive song but I could never quite get into it. However, the version played live made strong use of guitars in place of the normal bouncy synth line, and that really brought the whole thing alive; alas I can’t find any official recording of that version, perhaps some day (I do know they were recording two of the O2 dates for a 3D BluRay/DVD release at some stage…)
And then there was the encore / finale.
Oh my god!
The encore starts with fountains on the stage, either side of the main ramp. Pretty impressive stuff, you’d think?
But not enough for Kylie, oh now. For then the V from teh stage to the podium also start to jet some pretty big fountains, these jets getting pretty close to the lighting rig, they were that high (and powerful).
All pretty impressive for On A Night Like This.
Then Kylie and dancers move to the podium in the crowd for the final number, All The Lovers. With stage and V fountains galore. And the podium ALSO spraying fountains, as it rises and rises into a 3-tier fountain complete with dancers on each tier, Kylie at the top, and pairs of acrobats on trapezes spinning around it!
An extremely impressive and long-talked-about finale to an excellent show which lasted for a shade over 2 hours.
All in all I was very impressed with the entire show. The performances from all concerned were excellent, both physically and vocally, the choreography was awesome, the many many costumes were beautiful (with Kylie undertaking many costume changes throughout the evening into some stunning numbers), and the staging was very well done, especially the stunning finale.
As I said, it is the first time I’ve seen Kylie, and based on this show I suspect it won’t be the last.
Setlist – Aphoditie, The One, Wow, Illusion, I Believe In You, Cupid Boy, Spinning Around, Outta My Way, What Do I Have To Do, Everything Is Beautiful, Slow, Confide In Me, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, In My Arms, Looking For An Angel, Closer, There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart), Love At First Sight, If You Don’t Love Me, Better The Devil You Know, Put Your Hand On Your Heart (a cappella), Better Than Today, Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love), On A Night Like This, All The Lovers.