Modern City, Modern Concert: Part Two

Since May, Kylie Minogue’s KYLIEX2008 tour has been dazzling audiences throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. The concert is broken down into eight segments including pom-pom carrying cheerleaders and American football players during “Cheer Squad”; 1940s Joan Crawford meets 1970s The Love Boat for “Beach Party”; Japanese anime and geisha girls in “Naughty Manga Girl”; and tail-wearing Viennese Ballroom dancers for “Black versus White.” At the show’s open, the video curtains part for a giant Metropolis-inspired circular cage of wires that flies downstage. Surrounded by the wires, Kylie brings her electrifying force to the stage, delighting the screaming fans and charging into her two-hour-plus show.

Later in the show, the same rigged track is used once again to fly in a giant silver skull, with of course, Minogue riding atop. She delivers a newer song, “Like A Drug,” hanging thirty feet above the stage. The show’s setlist featured mostly newer material, but included classics such as “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” and “I Should Be So Lucky.” The singer is supported by a new, three-piece brass section and backing singers.

A false ending comes after a new song, “In My Arms.” The video screens show colossal color bars, time code numbers chasing across the front of the stage deck, and images of Minogue going in and out of focus, akin to a TV not properly tuned into a channel. At the end of the song, the curtains and the deck black-out towards the center of each display, giving the illusion of a TV set that just been switched off.

As a long-time Minogue fan and supporter, I was concerned when I first heard the design concept earlier this year. When I saw pictures and video from the tour prior to seeing it live and in person, I was worried she would get lost among the giant video screens (including the deck), and that the constant onslaught of video would subtract from her natural stage presence. But I ate my words when I saw the show. Minogue clearly enjoys herself on stage as she chats and connects with the audience. Highly polished and full of high-energy, the glossy result left me breathless. Read Part One of this online exclusive here!

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