Kylie In Cali: Minogue Plays Her First-Ever L.A. Show

“Does anyone know off the top of their head how long it’s taken me to get here?” Kylie Minogue peppily asked the audience at the world-famous Hollywood Bowl Sunday night, during the first (yes, FIRST!) Los Angeles show of her nearly two-decade-plus career. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was worth the wait.”

Damn straight, it was. From the moment that Kylie descended like some space-age Venus on the half-shell, goddess-like atop a giant mid-air glittering skull, it was clear that this was an EVENT 22 years in the making:

It’s pretty astounding that it took Kylie so long to launch a U.S. tour, but it should be noted that while she has always been a superstar in most other parts of the world, there was a long lull–basically between “Locomotion” and “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”–when she was virtually unknown in America, except as a one-hit-wonder footnote on ’80s-themed “Where Are They Now?”-type programs. But Kylie always had her diehard U.S. fans here who never forgot her–and they turned up in droves, and in sequins, and in fun fur, for Sunday night’s big Bowl event.

Kylie completely compensated for her fans’ long wait, delivering hit after hit after hit and at one time even rapping the intro to Madonna‘s “Vogue,” a head-cavingly improbable diva-mashup moment that practically had Kylie kooks reaching for their smelling salts. And speaking of smelliness, throughout Kylie was so future-shocking fembot-like, her production made a Lady Gaga concert look like Phoebe from Friends warbling “Smelly Cat” at Central Perk.

Take, for instance, the performance of “Speakerphone,” in which Kylie (attired in a stainless-steel-armor, bullet-bosomed mini-dress and an orb-flecked solar system headdress) was flanked by a marching army of molten-metal Daft Punk robots…

Or “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” set against a backdrop of crimson-lipped Kylies that resembled giant Patrick Nagel paintings come to life…

Or “Slow,” craftily choreographed around handful of nuclear-neon rods, TRON-style…

Or “In My Arms,” in front of a background of rainbow test patterns and Warholian Kylie faces, assisted by a troupe of frenetically boogie-ing C3P0s…

But what struck me the most was how retro-yet-futuristic Kylie’s music sounded. Every song was timeless, ageless–much like Kylie herself–sounding as if it could have come out in the disco ’70s, new wave ’80s, housey ’90s, this millennium, or even the next. Thus the songs could appeal to all concertgoers, whether they’d been waiting 22 years or just 22 minutes to see her perform. This was even true of her new single, the infectious and perhaps prophetically titled “Better Than Today”:

Of course, Kylie delivered old-Hollywood glamour at the Hollywood Bowl too, like when she appeared in an Oscar-worthy red carpet gown, accepted a cocktail from a stage-dwelling manservant while reclining on a velvet loveseat, then belted out “White Diamond” and the would-be Bond-theme “Confide In Me” in front of a Hollywood sign and beside a gilt MGM lion…

Or when she performed absolutely fabulous remakes of her vintage ’80s hits: a burlesque “Locomotion” in a latex teddy and a near-a cappella torch-song rendition of “I Should Be So Lucky”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b6qgFWyxhI

Or, of course–knowing who her audience is, and wanting to offer some eye candy for male audience members of all persuasions–she crooned “Red-Blooded Woman” in a sequined Catwoman outfit, while all around her gyrated hunky men in polkadot speedos and on the video screens behind her ran loops of homoerotic imagery (basically beefy, shirtless himbos showering, pumping iron, and straddling gymnastic equipment)…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ara3D1RbiY

“I can’t believe I’m standing here on hallowed ground; if I think about it too long I’ll get emotional,” Kyle told the Bowl audience before launching into her confetti-strewn “Love At First Sight” finale. And for patiently waiting Kylie fanatics, it was an emotional night as well.

Let’s hope another near-quarter-century doesn’t pass before she returns to Los Angeles…although, if it does, she’ll probably look just as fabulous and sound just as current as she did this past weekend.