As the mysterious harps began to play and visions of gorgeous mermen filled the giant screens at The Hollywood Bowl, the glorious goddess that is Kylie Minogue took the stage at her “Aphrodite Live” show.
After touring the U.S. for the first time in 2009, the international pop dance superstar returned to Los Angeles, enchanting a jam-packed crowd to a set of 25 songs that lasted nearly two hours.
Kylie transformed The Bowl into The Parthenon, complete with giant white coliseum pillars, Grecian fans and of course loads of sexy, scantily clad, beautifully built dancers.
With these visually stunning elements and tons of couture costume changes, Kylie’s “Aphrodite Live” extravaganza was a much bigger production than her first American tour.
Just as the real goddess of love did in Botticelli’s iconic painting, “The Birth of Venus,” Kylie emerged from a giant golden shell, singing the title track of the album and tour.
As she was escorted down a long catwalk-like staircase, aerial performers dropped down in between the pillars, the dramatic fog rolled in and from that moment I knew it was going to be a magical evening.
Just when I thought Kylie’s entrance onstage was the most fabulous thing I’d ever seen, then came the transition into “Wow,” where perfectly choreographed dancers dressed as gladiators battled it out as Kylie watched from above.
One of the most electrifying numbers was “Illusion,” where Kylie made another grandiose entrance onstage — this time on a golden Pegasus as her ethereal ivory gown flowed in the wind. The moment I wanted to rewind and watch it all over again came when a thunderous storm erupted as Kylie and company broke into a sultry Arabian dance routine that had me wanting more…and praying for a live concert DVD!
Kylie breathed new life into the biggest hit of her career, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” changing it into a head-banging rock production. Joined by a sea of male and female dancers dressed in black and red, this version of the song was highly unexpected but ultimately, extremely fresh.
On her last North American tour, Kylie changed the dreamy disco hit “I Believe in You” into a soft, sweet ballad. But this time Kylie brought the dance beats back and performed the entire number while being led on a chariot pulled by masked male dancers in barely-there outfits.
While most of the set list was made up of songs from “Aphrodite,” and her most recent smashes, the legendary songstress snuck in a few oldies but-oh-so-goodies including a Brazilian Carnival-type rendition of “Better the Devil You Know,” and a delightful spur of the moment performance of “The Loco-Motion.”
The grand finale was “All the Lovers,” the sweet synth-pop lead single off of “Aphrodite,” which offered a perfect, positive and touching quality to send off the thousands that had come out for their beloved Kylie.
The “Aphrodite” tour was a magnificent spectacle of over-the-top theatrics and sensational performances, all held together by Kylie’s sheer elegance and sugary sweet vocals.
Kylie Minogue will now take her world tour to her native Australia in June. “Aphrodite” is in stores and on iTunes now.
-- Anthony Ramos