It’s an exceptionally emotional day for me. I turned 39 years old on Friday, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to LGBT equality last night in D.C., and today thousands marched in our nation’s capital for equality. So many things in my life seem to be converging both professionally and personally, and at the culmination of it all is a date with Kylie Minogue.
Where do I begin? I have long been a fan of the Aussie pop princess from her early U.S. success in the late ’80s, but developed a greater appreciation for her as I got older, and as she got older (as I’m now 39, she’s 41). In 2005, I stopped in Cologne, Germany for one night only between Paris and Prague — just for Kylie and her “Showgirl” tour. I was far from CenterOrch. It was more like MezzRear of the Koln Arena. Brilliant, though distant. This was two months before Kylie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fast forward to 2009, Kylie is coming to America for her first-ever tour… And here we go…
Hammerstein Ballroom is as packed as I’ve ever seen it… granted, only my third concert there to date. No opening act, light go down, Kylie descends from the rafters on a giant golden skull to “Light Years.” She addresses the audience, “Please! Fasten your seatbelts. My name, is KYLIE. I will be your pursor.” It’s pulled from her Showgirl tour (2007 Homecoming version) — the mix, not the entrance. A dazzling entrance as to be expected from Kylie.
Wrapping up her first North American tour in New York (the first of three shows at Hammerstein), Kylie covered much of her 20 year-long repertoire… “It’s In Your Eyes,” from Fever, “I Believe in You,” from Ultimate Kylie, “Slow,” from Body Language, and new songs from X, including “Wow,” “Speakerphone,” and “The One.” She covered a lot of her old stuff including “Shocked,” “Spinning Around,” and “What Do I Have To Do,” in a medley also from the Showgirl Tour, as well as “Better The Devil You Know,” and a sexy, sultry take on her classic, “The Locomotion.”
All in all, a great show by Ms. Minogue, but I wish it was really tailored for her U.S. audience. Parts were pulled from her past tours (a little X, Showgirl, Fever) with little unique twists for her U.S. debut. Still, I’m a fan, and she was fabulous (I can’t believe I’m criticizing her!). She commanded the room and left everyone wishing for more. But my first impression of Kylie in Cologne stays with me more.