With a Pantheonic background and severe allusions to the theme of her Aphrodite Tour, Kylie Minogue and crew were clearly high on showmanship. Fantastic imagery in both the set and costumes were well done and recalled a combination of a Las Vegas stage show and an uber-gay Caligula. Despite all its spectacle, something was missing from the entire show. That seemed to be Kylie.
The boys came out in droves for Kylie at the Verizon Theatre last night. The girls, well, they were there, too. Upon walking into the venue, the stage was magnificent with its descending stairs and digital Greek columns, not to mention a large squadron of dancers. And there she was in all her glory with her Grecian-draped costume and winged ears. Opening with “Aphrodite,” she appeared to the hordes of screaming men in the audience. It was an impressive beginning. I dug the dancing gladiators.
But the visual onslaught began to be too much. And while she was clearly live on the microphone, she seemed hazy in her delivery. She screamed out to the audience several times and gave nods to Dallas, but they felt more squeezed in because the show is so tightly wound. She ascended on a golden Pegasus, which got hollers, but it didn’t amount to anything and it was after the show began. A big bust (of Aphrodite? Kylie? Kylie as Aphrodite?) appeared later and just sat there. Flying birds? Cool. What should I be doing? I began to question what it meant other than to show an embarrassment of riches. None of which helped her performance.
With dancers all around her and big, showy, shiny outfits, she was surrounding herself with high energy but relied on that so as not to dole out any herself. I never saw her dance up a number and she struck more poses than a season of America’s Next Top Model. She tried to play with the audience and she really is adorable, but it was like her Ambien had kicked in. Plus, I didn’t know what to watch — the special effects, the dancers, the practically nude male acrobats or her. Everything else onstage was drawing my attention; Kylie commanded none of it. Where was the superstar that ruled the pop international scene and domestic gay boys?
The overabundance of spectacle just seemed to be hiding what she should have been doing — owning the show. I didn’t see Kylie Minogue at all here, but her stage and set designers have left a lasting impression. Which I don’t want to undermine either. The costumes were top notch. Some of the dancers looked better in their showgirl outfits than her in her free-flowing toga. The sets were astonishing and the props were pretty cool. But for her to really just walk around, strike poses and dither about against her heavy-beat disco music never worked, and it was a huge disappointment from such a seasoned artist.