Gigs – they’re back! Sorta. Kinda. Maybe not in Melbourne, but elsewhere it is beginning to feel like hope’s little flickering light getting brighter, even if you weren’t one of the 50 at Caitlin Harnett’s show at the Lansdowne last week.
This means we may not need Wind Back Wednesday’s gig replacement therapy anymore, so let’s go out with a bang. And few offer more bangs – and glitter and feathers and bare flesh and cascading water works – than Kylie Minogue.
In this concert from 2011, La Minogue gave it all but it all came in relative size. No meat, just hits; less cheese, more buns.
See you at a gig soon.
Aphrodite – Les Folies: Sydney Entertainment Centre, June 7
Small but perfectly formed. That’s been the standard line with Kylie Minogue for 20 years or more: all your pop idol/gay icon/ girl next door/sex kitten needs met in a compact package.
Take away the patronising tone and you could say the same about her latest show.
Now it may be hard to fathom the word "small" in conjunction with this multi-million-dollar extravaganza. This is a show that climaxes with a genuinely spectacular water ballet sequence to On A Night Like This and All The Lovers atop a multi-layered riser with bodies rising and twisting in jawdropping aerial acrobatics, a dozen water sprays shooting into the air and arcing over an inner audience pit (where ponchos are provided, even if plenty of muscle boys in singlets preferred to be wet than – perish the thought - daggy) and Minogue rocking the gold bathing cap look.
It is a show where an earlier sequence on a completely different tilting riser, featured our host for the evening singing Slow standing within a revolving section while the prone but writhing dancers arranged around her on a glass floor looked, as shot from the aerial camera, like a scene from Busby Berkeley's Million Dollar Mermaid.
Indeed, it is a show where at one point La Minogue in a gold chariot is pulled along by harnessed husky boys while behind her come two attendants in enhanced, gold micro-speedos and feathered headdresses which would send several African bird species into extinction had they been real. (Camp much? Can’t say I noticed.)
But for all that, and more, Minogue and the show never go the full Gaga. Everything remains on a human – for a pop show that is – scale in keeping with its star who dances occasionally, sings all the time (her vastly improved voice only showing weakness in quiet passages such as in Confide In Me) and has no need to don the meat suit to entertain.
To that end she is helped by a set list which skilfully avoids the dull or cheesy sections which have always dogged her shows. Praise be!, there was no I Should Be So Lucky. Hail disco Caesar! there was a punchy early climax with Spinning Around, Get Outta My Way and What Do I Have To Do; a mid-show highlight in a staccato and rocky Can’t Get You Out Of My Head; and a surprisingly successful foray into high end pop (Prefab Sprout’s If You Don’t Love Me) setting up a Rio-meets-Vegas-meets-Folies Bergere Better The Devil You Know.
Ok, maybe it was not that small, but it was near perfectly done.