Tom and I were treated to an evening of Kylie at the O2, courtesy of Jo and Alex of the Red Bar/Experience. We had VIP exclusive entrance and enjoyed their VIP suite directly overlooking the stage, which itself was a mindblowing experience, but it was nothing compared to the lady herself. If you’ve ever wondered whether this lady remains an exponent merely of ‘plastic pop’, whether she can sing or not, or whether or not her star’s on the wane, I can assure you she rocked the house. But it wasn’t just because the show was well staged (it was), it wasn’t because the venue was extraordinary (it is), it was because she really can sing. Sure she had a figure to die for, enjoyably (even for a gay man) showed off that famous ass, and had the advantage of a hi-tech stage which from every angle was an experience in itself, but it was her talent which shone through.
We had old standards like ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’, ‘Spinning Around’, ‘Love at First Sight’, even ‘Kids’ (which still sounds wrong when Robbie’s not duetting with her), but she also wowed the capacity crowd with the recent ‘2 Hearts’, a triumphant rendition of ‘Wow’ and the ecstatic response to ‘Your Disco Needs You’ suggesting that it was most fans’ secret favourite all along (although ‘On a Night Like This’ drew at least the same response). She also indulged in her now customary reworking of old favourites as well, and ‘Slow”s rocky crescendo was particularly enjoyable, catching even the most dedicated fans off guard, and breathing new life into material which was in many quarters indifferently received at the time of release.
It was an evening of sublime professionalism, from the staging of ‘Nu-di-ty’, through the floating skull she launched her rendition of ‘Like a Drug’ from, to even the über camp ‘Love Boat’ and ‘Copacobana’ – all had dancing of the highest quality and the fullest and most fun staging which you could expect from the veteran Minogue, who all the while engaged with an audience who had either already grown up with her or still were. The acoustic numbers like the reworked ‘I Believe in You’ proved just how talented Kylie always has been, and it mattered not a jot that she concluded with ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, which started the ball rolling in the most insubstantial way 20 years ago. She knew her audience and has proven throughout the decades all she needs to. Long may she continue to outsing, outperform and outlast her peers – she’s quite fabulous.
Jo and Alex are already offering the Vanburgh Experience at their other bar in Greenwich, and will shortly be offering paid tickets to future shows via the Red Experience (which will also include a three course meal, limo service and champagne) from the Red Bar. Given how awesome last night was, I can only recommend it as an almost unbeatable time out.