AAMI Stadium, Melbourne
The enigmatic and very talented Sia has returned to Australian shores for two shows one in Sydney the other in Melbourne, bringing with her a swag of amazingly talented female acts to support her arena show.
First up is recent Aria winner Amy Shark, a girl that just a year ago nobody had heard of, who has now been catapulted into stardom with her amazing debut album. A smart first choice to open the show Amy is a warm up for the more higher energy acts that follow. She is humble, sweet and has one killer voice.
Taking things up a notch Charlie XCX is high octane fun and bounces around the stage, pumping out hit after hit to get the crowd dancing. Considering she is dancing on a massive shiny silver platform for most of the set she is stellar in her performance.
Not to be outdone in energy levels MØ comes right at the audience with her dance moves, jumping all over the stage, her energy levels as high as a helium balloon. The Danish songstress is a joy to watch and her electro-pop is infectious.
The opening acts are all wise choices for this line up, each bringing a different level of energy and being that its one of the first times an all – female line up has been on stage its certainly proving to be a smart choice.
Finally, the woman we have all been waiting for arrives. Shrouded in a voluminous white dress she enters via a large platform, her signature wig in place strategically hiding her face from view.
Opening with ‘Alive’ her voice is spectacular, flawless in every way. She is regal and mysterious all at the same time and its stunning to watch. Following with the hit that made her song- writing famous ‘Diamond’ sparkles with stunning visuals and with the absence of the dance track that Rhianna recorded with her version makes the beauty of the lyrics is easier to hear and appreciate.
The thing about this show, if the audience would put away their phones for a moment and realize is this – it’s an art piece as well as a performance. The whole entire spectacle is to be appreciated in all its glory. The lighting tells a story, the dance pieces from Maddie Ziegler tell another story and inter woven with the beauty of Sia’s voice to create a tapestry that is visionary in its delivery. Some of the dance pieces when the time is taken to really appreciate them are evocative and powerful.
‘Breathe Me’ is a stunning piece the minimalist dance is saddening as the performer struggles with giant hands threatening to pull him under. The song and the dance together are hauntingly beautiful. The two together create such an unforgettable poignant moment.
Sia powers through the hits one after the other and each has its own unique lighting, dance and story. It’s a theatrical performance that is enigmatic and spectacular. She doesn’t need to talk or engage the audience – that would draw too much attention away from the beauty that enfolds on stage. Additionally, it keeps her separate from us and is a platform that allows for the music to truly be appreciated.
Her slowed down rendition of ‘Titanium’ with all the dance track removed is beautifully constructed and almost haunting in its delivery and a sing a- long ensues. The dance that accompanies it is moving and melancholic all at the same time. Towards the end of the song she replaces the word titanium with ‘Australian’ quickly saying ‘That was cheesy I know but I had to do it…’ to thunderous applause.
Whilst Sia may conceal her identity and be an enigma, one thing that is no mystery is her ability to deliver a visually spectacular performance, with kick- ass all girl line up that just makes for an all-round amazing experience.
Words by Amanda Lee Starkey
Behind the lens Amanda Lee Starkey