As the bright blue LED screens lighting up the Agganis Arena in Boston on Friday night began to fill up with bubbles and the silhouettes of a dozen muscly mermen, a handful of dancers slowly crept up the coliseum staircase and bowed in reverence as a giant structure began to ascend from below.
Was it a gaggles of water nymphs? Poseidon himself, perhaps? Nay, ‘Twas Mighty Aphrodite–Miss Kylie Minogue herself–arriving like the goddess she is for all to see and adore.
With gorgeous stage props, sensational aerial acrobatics and major couture outfits, the Aphrodite Live tour is a much larger production than Kylie’s previous American outing (the For You, For Me tour back in 2009).
Everything about the staging–from the massive boulders, to the coliseum pillars, to every feathery square inch and glittery seam of the costuming–fell perfectly in sync the Greek glamazon theme of the album. It was literally the most perfect concept-to-stage envisioning I’d ever seen in concert form!
Friday night was Kylie’s first US tour date of Aphrodite Live, her massive 2011 spectacle following the release of her latest studio album, Aphrodite. The American leg of the tour is a slightly stripped-down version of the massive arena version over in Europe, which included moving platforms, more aerial stunts and–sigh, even water fountains. (I seriously should have brought my squirt gun!)
The crowd make-up was admittedly a bit puzzling, including a healthy handful of families (with young children!) and even more elderly audience members. And no, I’m not trying to throw shade at any gay over the age of 21 in attendance–I’m talking old, people. Like, walkers and canes territory. (Let’s face it–they were there for “Locomotion.”)
Also, I was sitting two seats directly behind Perez Hilton who appeared to be enjoying himself (although he did leave before the final number). If it’s because he was too busy heading backstage to meet the fair lady, color me pressed and obsessed.
Minogue was, just as she had been during her 2009 visit, pitch-perfect throughout the entire concert, nailing all of her hits (yes, every single one of those high notes–even during “Get Outta My Way,” “I Believe In You” and “On A Night Like This”!).
The legendary songstress paid due respect to her immense back catalog, with a set-list comprising over 24 songs.From the opening (“Aphrodite”) to the euphoric, glittering grand finale (“All The Lovers”), Kylie brought pure drama and glamour to the stage on Friday night, including a gorgeous jazzy rendition of the already sizzling “Slow,” X-era tracks “Wow” and “In My Arms,” a rock-tinged “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and even some tiny treats for hardcore fans, including a stunning acoustic performance of “If You Don’t Love Me,” the Prefab Sprout cover and 1994 B-side to “Confide In Me” (which she also sang, along with a stunning video introduction featuring Indie Kylie–or should I say Kylie Noir.)
About midway through the show, Lady K shook out her hair (quite literally–va va voom!), strung a muppet ’round her neck and got her barely-there jean shorts on for a little downtime with the audience and a segue into some of her older hits, including a deliciously celebratory version of “Better The Devil You Know.”
In honor of her first US tour date, Kylie later surprised the crowd during the same segment with a semi-acoustic performance of “Locomotion,” chugging right along on stage the crowd loudly roared in unison.
Highlights were frequent throughout the show, including the opening three numbers (“Aphrodite,” “The One” and “Wow”), as Kylie went from riding chariots and singing alongside human harps to being hand fed grapes from her adoring servants and nymphs between her bouncy, heaven-sent slices of pop perfection.
“Illusion”–one of my personal favorites from Aphrodite–came packaged with an unbelievable Bollywood-inspired dance break. Yes: A dance break. As in, Kylie Minogue actually doing dance moves! I was stunned.
But Kylie aside, the dance troupe themselves truly deserve a special nod. While every major pop concert always comes equipped with some seriously jaw-dropping gymnastics, the Kylie show truly took the art to the next level. The dancer’s moves were simply killer. (And their bodies even more so!) Kudos to you, Tony Testa!
And of course, there was my own personal highlight–“Cupid Boy”–the inspiration behind the tee, as Minogue sashayed down the stairwell in a gorgeous, feathery black gown and a tasteful top hat as dozens of Minogue’s nearly nude male dancers flashed onscreen with bodies that would have Adonis and Hercules positively seething with jealousy. Oh, the very thrill of it!
Aphrodite Live was a delicious blend of larger-than-life theatrics and intimate interaction with the audience. Ever the icon, Kylie Minogue remains one of the most effortlessly graceful and elegant pop divas of our time–and certainly one of the most timeless.
While the show did occasionally stunted by technical limitations in comparison to the grand European Les Folies experience, every second of the Aphrodite Live show remained entirely fabulous and fierce deluxe–some might even go so far as to call it mythical.
For the full set of photos from the show, check out the gallery on the MuuMuse Facebook page. Some photos courtesy of Muuser Eric H. Thanks for joining me to see Mighty Aphrodite in the flesh!