To me, Sia Furler is a mix of Janice the Muppet and legendary soul singer Sarah Vaughan. Her eccentric style and stage persona is so unique, weird and fresh. Her exagerrated smile, mop top hair and nearly inexplicable Aussie accent exudes a whacky persona while her aching, trance-inducing vocals rival those of the music industry’s legendary soul singers. I love both sides of Sia. She makes me laugh and she makes me cry. Wednesday night at Webster Hall, she induced an entire range of emotions out of me.
She opened with my favorite song off 2010’s We Are Born, “The Fight.” “A fantasy for you and me. Though beauty lies in reality. No need to fear, the truth sets us free. We’re all looking for love and harmony.” Amen, Sia. That song is officially my source for inspiration lately. Looming over Sia from the VIP section (thanks, Flink!), Sia went on to perform a remix of “Buttons” and a cover of Madonna’s “Oh Father” before playing a new song called “Hostage,” co-written by Nick Valensi of The Strokes, about feeling powerless to break free from a lover’s mistreatment. Great subject matter to infuse Sia’s signature crack in her voice.
She continued with “Lullaby,” “Big Girl Little Girl,” and the beautiful “I Go to Sleep” and “Cloud.” But it was “You Have Been Loved” that literally brought me to tears. A stunning vocal performance that really moved me, I just could not believe my ears. So painful, so emotionally charged, so true. “You have been loved by someone good. You will be loved by somebody good. You have been loved.” That one goes out to Victor. My other favorite moment was the powerful “Be Good to Me.” Amazing. Other highlights were “You’ve Changed,” “Never Gonna Leave Me” and her encores, “Clap Your Hands” and “Breathe Me.” If you ever have the luck and good fortune to see this woman perform, one word: Go.