2014 has been quite a rollercoaster of a year for Kylie Minogue. The diminutive and much-loved pop princess kicked off the year as a coach on The Voice UK, which she departed after only one series. Following her appearance on the show she started the campaign for new studio album Kiss Me Once by releasing Into The Blue. That track stalled outside the Top 10 and the parent album was a commercial disappointment despite critical-acclaim. Despite that Kylie has embarked on a Kiss Me Once tour that has sold impressively and tonight we saw her at one of her dates at London’s The O2 Arena.
Even when her albums haven’t matched the dizzying heights of her career bests, you can always rely on Kylie for a well put together, slick and entertaining live show. She last toured the UK on her spectacular Aphrodite tour, in support of the album of the same name, and it was one of her best arena tours to date. For the Kiss Me Once tour Kylie has taken a completely different approach stripping back the spectacle for a surprisingly low-key production. Backed by a giant video screen, a sparse set and intermittent dancers, Kiss Me Once is all about Kylie the singer and boy does she deliver.
Ahead of the show Kylie’s 11-minute short-film Sleepwalkers, a collaboration with Garibay, is shown to the audience and it features 3 of the 4 new tracks that Kylie made available to fans for free this past week following the launch of the Kiss Me Once tour in Liverpool. Once the sort film had finished, Kylie didn’t leave the audience waiting for too long. A video intro, featuring sections of Breathe, gave way to Kylie emerging on the stage on a sofa shaped like a pair of red lips singing Les Sex from her latest album.
The setlist for the evening was a real mixture of songs from across the singer’s expansive career. Selections from the Kiss Me Once included the title track, Sexy Love, Sexercize and ballad Beautiful. The best moments of the night however were reserved for the hits and Kylie has so many it must be an absolute nightmare to pick a setlist that will satisfy every kind of Kylie fan.
The obligatory tracks were in there such as Spinning Around, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and Slow. Kylie also threw in a surprise cover of INXS’ I Need You Tonight which worked really well in the set. The finest part of the show came in the mid-section when Kylie performed a selection of her true classics including Hand On Your Heart, Never Too Late, Got To Be Certain and I Should Be So Lucky. The medley was performed with Kylie in an ever-disappearing pink dress acting out iconic scenes from the music videos to the hits. Seeing her singing I Should Be So Lucky lying in a bath of feathers was a true delight.
Part of Kylie’s charm has always been her down-to-earth personality and ability to truly engage with her fans. There were several sections during the show where she spoke to the crowd, took notice of the distance some fans had travelled and even genuinely seemed overwhelmed by the screaming reaction she got after every single song. Before her penultimate song of the evening, All The Lovers, Kylie asked the crowd to shout out requests and obliged by singing a rendition of The Locomotion to much glee from the crowd.
The show came to a close with Kiss Me Once’s lead single Into The Blue. In a live arena the song sounds much better than it did as a single, it’s thumping beat sounding much more like a dance track than we’ve previously noticed. It was a triumphant final performance of the evening before Kylie gave her thanks and departed the stage.
As we mentioned earlier the production may have been sparse but Kylie has never sounded better. She hit every note, and a particularly impressive high note during Your Disco Needs You, and gave it her all. She played around with the melodies of some songs but never to the point where the crowd didn’t know what she was singing. As to be expected there were plenty of costume changes and her hunky male dancers proved to be just as hot as we’ve come to expect from a Kylie tour. We should mention she had female dancers too and we were in awe of how flexible they were!
Given the reaction that Kylie got at The O2 it really is puzzling how Kiss Me Once wasn’t a much bigger album for the singer. Hopefully it was just a slight misstep in a career that has deliver hit after hit. One thing’s for certain; there’s a lot of love for Kylie and she appreciates every single fan that’s got her to where she is today. If you’re looking for a true entertainer then look no further than Kylie and catch the Kiss Me Once tour before it rolls out of town and onto the next continent.