Last Wednesday night Prague´s O2 arena played short-term host to the one and only Aussie Queen of Pop, Kylie Minogue. The much anticipated Les Folies tour opened its doors to the excited and enthusiastic growing crowd at around 8pm. I arrived early to find a huge 30 foot Greek structure draped, hiding its full splendor for the waiting audience, with two runways leading down to a relatively small central circular stage. Whilst waiting for the show to start it was pleasing to see so many smiling faces, of all different ages, which I guess is a real testament to Kylie´s popularity and long-term success over the years. The arena slowly filled up to the fresh electro sounds of Diplo and The Black Eyed Peas much to the delight of those piling into the spacious arena.
A huge underwater scene paired with video projections of 30 foot submerged swimmers, gave the eager audience the much needed cue: The show was about to start. The members of Kylie´s 5-piece live band took their places and prepared themselves. The soft harp sounds signaled the intro of Kylie´s latest track ‘Aphrodite´. The early parts of the track suited the underwater back-drop perfectly with the full dance troupe dressed in authentic Greek garb posing like stone statues until the main star´s arrival to the stage. Following was a very suitable entrance for a pop queen as she appeared singing on the back of a golden horse that rose steadily from the centre of the main stage area, with her entire dance team willing the golden stallion upwards from the hidden sunken area. The Australian star seemed to be glowing; her angelic outfit glimmered and sparkled under the arena lights.
The heavenly setting soon changed by the second song, with a smooth yet 360 degree switch, from seraphic to S&M. The catchy chords of the Kurstin-produced ‘Wow´, beckoned the real start of the party. The pint-sized antipodean pocket-rocket being pulled along the stage by three male dancers dressed as Roman centurions wearing gimp masks. Not a regular sight for me I can assure you but, seemingly fitting none the less. The costumes and acrobatics were truly amazing during the 90 plus minute performance. A slow and predominately ground based introduction led to 8 costume changes, a tilting circular stage, suspended dancers, flying angels and water jets shot from all areas of the stage. An impressive build up!
Show highlights for me would have to be the elaborate and extravagant costumes thanks to her regular collaborators Dolce & Gabbanna. Each costume was both beautiful and seemingly functional allowing the freedom to move and dance around her stage with relative ease. Kylie´s performance of the 2006 smash ‘Slow´ was also very impressive. Opting to perform a stripped down blues & jazz version of the down-tempo, Sunnyroads produced track. The show had real high points – disco filled party tracks – but it also took time to give both the audience and the performers a breather and the chance to hear the range in Kylie´s vocals without her trademark disco backdrop. She was not afraid to step out of the shadows of the basslines and slick 90´s backing track. I have to say that I was impressed with her voice without the aforementioned backing track. The cherry on the dance-cake would have to be Kylie´s encore. Picture 8 suspended dancers above a circular shaped 3 tier fountain with Minogue as the centre piece. Multi-coloured water jets shooting from all areas of the stage. Breathtaking stuff. A great night was had by all!
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