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Wednesday 08 April 2009

Review: Kylie's first-ever NZ concert

Posted in: Music
By Campbell Stodart - 9th December 2008

It seems a lot of glitter and sequins ago that Kylie Minogue was Charlene in Neighbours and playing alongside Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce and Bouncer... and last night our pint sized Australian neighbour crossed the Tasman to a sell-out crowd of 12,000 at Vector Arena and firmly reminded us why she is described as a Pop Princess.

The anticipation as we waited for the iconic performer to appear was huge, as was the incredible diversity in the crowd in the Arena. There was an impressive turn out from the queer community and why not... Kylie has been a gay icon for quite some time now. There were also plenty of young girls, straight couples firmly holding hands and a strong representation from the baby boomers, so Kylie obviously appeals to many.

The cheer when she appeared on stage was huge as this was the first time she has performed on Kiwi soil and with a music career of around 20 years, her die-hard fans had certainly waited.

For close to two hours were we treated to a memorable and often nostalgic array of Kylie hits including Spinning Around which brought the entire stadium to its feet, Can't get you out of my Head, Slow, Ruffle my Feathers, In your Eyes, Step Back in Time, Better the Devil you Know, Heart Beat Rock and Wow to name a few.

My favourite was the 'disco' set with the diva and her stunning dancers paying tribute to some big Kylie Gay Anthems- Your Disco and a very camp version of Cococabana allowed the crowd to really get their groove on. The Iconic Sailor Boy accent certainly was a crowd pleaser especially amongst the queer fraternity.

The costumes in this show were simply stunning and Jean Paul Gaultier can certainly take full credit for them. He has been designing for the Pop Princess for quite some time now. Kylie may be tiny in stature but she effortlessly coordinated six changes and strutted her stuff with Pop attitude in various pairs of killer heels. Her ten back up dancers were spendid, all very sexy and certainly wouldn't fall into the Go-Go category. They had an array of gorgeous costumes as well from a set of very camp and colourful cheerleaders, to some quite androgynous robots that were mildly homoerotic.

The sound quality of the live band and vocals left me pleasantly surprised as I had heard all sorts of comments from various previous performances at Vector in the early days of its life. There was no form of echo or sound bounce that had plagued others. The other refreshing component was that the actual volume inside the venue was just right and it was still possible to chat with the person beside you...and that was required as a lot of the show stoppers bought back memories of people, places and things... Sigh... I was young one! Ah the days of Spiral Perms and Ra Ra Skirts.

The last number was from way way back and the crowd errupted when Kylie surprised us all with I Should Be So Lucky. Last nights' crowd was indeed very lucky and appreciative of this talented and polished entertainer and I can see why the tickets for her first show sold out in 9 minutes.

Kylie performs again tonight at Vector Arena to another very lucky 12,000.

Campbell Stodart - 9th December 2008