The setlist for Kylie's first Sydney show (an encore followed later at 10:30pm) remained largely the same as the Melbourne leg - albeit with a couple of minor twists thrown in to keep fans guessing. X bonus track "Magnetic Electric" kicked off the evening's entertainment and was greeted with almost deafening applause. After so many
After prowling around the stage like a young Debbie Harry, the critically acclaimed Street Fighter actress finally got a chance to catch her breath while performing "Mighty Rivers". That Xenomania-penned Aphrodite bonus track was brought to life with a lush arrangement that showed off her powerful live vocals. It was lovely but I would have preferred the vastly superior Japanese bonus track "Heartstrings", which is probably the best thing Xenomania has ever produced. "Over Dreaming (Over You)" and "Always Find The Time" were well-received steps down memory lane but the inclusion of the ultra-obscure Impossible Princess-era leaked track "You're The One" drew a blank from the crowd and really isn't very good. At all. The confusion soon dissipated with the still magnificent "Tightrope", which, after all these years, remains my favourite track on Fever. Almost as thrilling was the gorgeous Steve Anderson-penned ballad "Paper Dolls". I never thought I'd live to hear two thousand people singing "here we are we're like paper dolls and we're side by side"! So amazing.
Dannii's edgiest sibling then introduced X album track "Stars" by confiding that it was inspired by her battle with breast cancer. I never understood why she left it off her X2008 tour, it's such a great little song. By that stage we had reached the half-way mark and there was still no costume change in sight. The pop-star-doing-a-rock-show vibe reminded me a lot of Intimate & Live. Kylie even seemed to focus on songs from around that era. "Drunk" and Say Hey" (after which that shithole forum is named) represented the most experimental phase of her illustrious career. The lighting concept also changed with '90s rave-lasers beaming down on the audience and the pop icon let loose, dancing around the stage and waving at fans. Next up was “Too Much”, which the diva described as a gift from friends Calvin Harris and Jake Shears, and a pair of Light Years albums tracks – “Bittersweet Goodbye” and “Disco Down”. The former snoozefest was politely-received but the latter up-tempo pop explosion had everyone moving their feet.
“"I Don’t Need Anyone”, another gem from 1997’s Impossible Princess, proved that Kylie can still unleash her inner rock chick, while “Got To Be Certain” – a number one hit in Australia in 1988 – proved to be the most popular song of the night. Given the frenzied fan response, it’s hard to fathom why Keith Washington's one time duet partner has all but disowned the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced classic for 24 years. The show unexpectedly closed with “Things Can Only Get Better” – a fairly unmemorable cut Rhythm Of Love. To put it nicely. With a handful of cherished tracks like “Ocean Blue”, "One Boy Girl" and “Love Takes Over Me” still up her Anti-Tour sleeve, the song proved to be one of the evening’s few missteps. Really, who was knocking back a drink before the gig and thought I really hope she does "Things Can Only Get Better"?
After the shortest of breaks, Kylie returned for an encore wearing baby blue hot-pants and a t-shirt emblazoned with a picture of a woman’s bare breasts. It was an unusual fashion choice but I'm here for old women in appropriate clothing. The incredibly camp but still rather shit “That’s Why They Write Love Songs” – an unreleased anthem she unveiled on the opening night of her X2008 Tour and then promptly discarded - was unexpected but fans were clearly more interested in the snippets of songs she performed by request. There were a couple of verses of the fabulous unreleased track “Lovin’ You” and a sing-a-long rendition of “Word Is Out”. After almost two hours of non-stop music, Ms Minogue concluded the quirkiest tour of her career a pair of songs from Enjoy Yourself. “Tears On My Pillow” was dedicated to her dad, while the title track brought back a flood of memories for fans who have been there since the ‘80s. Kylie proved that she can still hold an audience in the palm of her pretty hand without any of her hits, trademark costume changes and elaborate staging. How many other pop stars – past or present – can say the same?
A rather different version of this review appears on US website Idolator.