May 2, 2011 | by Robbie Barnett
Kylie shines in two-hour extravaganza

Kylie Minogue (photo courtesy of EMI)

Just like the Greek goddess she embodies in her show, Kylie Minogue served love, beauty and sexuality to her fans at the Patriot Center Saturday in her “Aphrodite Live Tour.”

Even though she has been a successful international superstar since the late ’80s, this is only the second time the 42-year-old Aussie native has ever toured the U.S. — the first time being only a handful of dates in cities like New York and Los Angeles in 2009.  So, this was a rare opportunity for Kylie lovers here in the States to catch a glimpse of her live. Only achieving success here in 2001 with her dance album “Fever,”  she has always hovered on the outskirts of the American mainstream and her fans have predominately been gay men. And she certainly knows what her fans would want from her in a live show. In this case: ancient Greece meets discotheque.

Starting things off with the title track of her current album “Aphrodite,” she rose from below the stage on a gold shell and dressed in full-on Greek garb looking youthful and gorgeous. Fog machines set the scene while the stage was adorned with elaborate columns and staircases. A gaggle of attractive, well-built male dancers decorated the stage for virtually the entire show. Female dancers, two backup singers, acrobats and a full band were also part of her on-stage posse.

It was quite a theatrical spectacle and on par with the grand-scale productions of Madonna, Cher and Bette Midler. It felt more suited for a stint in glitzy Las Vegas rather than a space limiting venue on a college campus. In fact, the U.S. leg of her tour had to be cut down from the extravagant European shows due to space and traveling concerns. In those shows she had much larger stages to fit props and house lavish running waterfalls. She even had a “splash zone” where a certain section of the venue’s crowd would get wet. Still, even a few elements missing did not detract from the final result.

Whether she was appearing on stage riding a carousel horse for “Illusion” or a chariot for “I Believe in You,” she seemed to be topping herself with each performance. A rock rendition of her biggest dancefloor  hit “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” was unexpected and may have been the highlight of the evening.

She channeled Breathless Mahoney for a vampy lounge version of her club hit “Slow” and when it came to performing material off of her new album, she made some welcomed alterations as well. One that stood out was a mash-up of 2002’s “Love at First Sight” mixed with the ‘Aphrodite’ track “Can’t Beat This Feeling.” After embracing suspended white winged dancers in “Looking for an Angel” she went right into an amazing cover of The Eurythmics’ ‘80s hit “There Must Be an Angel (Playing with my Heart).” Don’t be surprised if she releases that as a single in the future.

Minogue showed off her top-notch vocals and gave hardcore fans a treat with the stripped down ballad “If You Don’t Love Me” from her 1994 self-titled album. Fans hoping to hear her ’80s hits “I Should Be So Lucky” and “The Loco-Motion” were left disappointed. The oldest hits she performed were the mostly  unknown “Better the Devil You Know” and “What Do I have to Do” from her 1990 album “Rhythm of Love.” Switching out the two lesser known tracks for the more familiar favorites would have been a wiser choice. The show-stopping finale was her current hit “All the Lovers” — an appropriate way to end such a high energy and unified show.

Throughout the tight 24-track, two-hour extravaganza, she made several eye-popping costume changes. From Greek goddess to fashionista, she gave any drag queen in the audience inspiration for days. Not overly avant-garde like Lady Gaga and more feminine than Madonna, her outfits were sexy but never raunchy. The only outfit dud was when she came out wearing what looked like the skinned hide of Fozzie Bear from the Muppets.

On the dancing aspect of the show, she pretty much left that up to her dancers. She did less dancing and more parading while she sang. Think Cher. But, to be fair, Kylie never was an artist that incorporated much choreography into her productions.

Her ability to connect with her fans is one of her greatest attributes as an entertainer. At several points throughout the show she graciously acknowledged her love for her fans and on the receiving end it felt genuine. Never cold or unattainable like some of her diva contemporaries, she was playful at times, even accepting a rose from a fan in the front row and sharing the story of her White House visit earlier in the day. Like her music she is sugary sweet, joyfully infectious and never disappointing.

Set list:

1. Aphrodite
2. The One
3. Wow
4. Illusion
5. I Believe In You
6. Cupid Boy
7. Spinning Around
8. Get Outta My Way
9. What Do I Have to Do?
10. Everything is Beautiful
11. Slow
12. Confide in Me
13. Can’t Get You Out of My Head
14. In My Arms
15.  Looking For An Angel
16. There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)
17. Love at First Sight/Can’t Beat This Feeling (mash up)
18. If You Don’t Love Me
19. Better The Devil You Know
20. Come Into My World (piano accompanied)
21.  Better Than Today (aucostic, bluesy into that goes full force into a dance beat)
22. Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)
23. On A Night Like This
24. All The Lovers

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