The pop icon celebrated landing her seventh number one album in the UK with a hit-packed performance at the Gdynia-based festival on Friday (5 July)
Headlining the Orange Main Stage on day three of Poland’s Open’er festival, Kylie Minogue is freezing. “I really could do with a hug from one of you, it’s so cold,” says the 51 year old pop veteran, before launching into ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. “Do you think this guy in bright yellow could come up these stairs?,” she asks, hauling a lucky (lucky, lucky lucky etc) fan onstage. “I’m not here to sign your stuff,” she qualifies. “I’m here very selfishly for a hug!”
Still, she can’t help herself from adding her imprinter to his merch anyway: “I feel rude if I don’t sign this now,” she laughs, shivering. “Not that I can feel my hands anyway!”.
That’s Kylie: unashamedly crowd pleasing, she’s a trouper who’s shape-shifted through a 31 year career, reinventing herself for each new decade, from ingenue-next-door to Impossible Princess to futuristic electro queen to her latest rhinestone-studded ‘Golden’ country incarnation. We get the full jukebox journey tonight. During ‘On a Night Like This’ where she sings ‘Seems like I’ve known you a lifetime‘, she ad-libs: “For some of you it has been a lifetime!”
She arrives in Open’er for the first time, as she toasts her latest greatest hits album, ‘Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection’ becoming her seventh album to top the charts in the UK and fresh off the back of a triumphant, emotional turn in the Glastonbury legends slot.
Opening with the noughties disco of ‘Love At First Sight’, her hit-stacked hour set is essentially her Glasto performance minus Nick Cave guesting on the brooding murder ballad ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow’ (she only sings a snippet of it tonight) but with the added bonus of Chris Martin not turning up with his acoustic guitar during ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. Her handbag house early Stock, Aitken, Waterman-produced ’80s calling card ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ sees her joined by a retinue of dancers waving letters that spell her name. Before 2008’s sad-banger ‘The One’, she notices a T-shirt in the crowd that reads “POLAND LOVES KYLIE” and brings it onstage to wear. A man dressed as performance artist and David Bowie affiliate Klaus Nomi appears before the underrated wistful 1988 gem of ‘Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi’, and she performs a deft mash up of her writhing 2003 electro-grinder ‘Slow’ with Bowie’s ‘Fashion’. From there, we’re onto the soaring Bond theme-esque ‘Confide In Me’, before the crowd fill in for Robbie Williams’ vocals on their 2000 duet ‘Kids’. She strips ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ of its disco stardust sheen, which seems like a heretical thing to do to one of the canonical greatest songs of the noughties.
Geeky fan service is provided by her dancers enacting a wedding onstage to the Neighbours theme tune (replete with a snippet of Andy Anderson’s ‘Suddenly’, the song played during the 1988 wedding of Charlene and Scott) before she sings ‘Especially For You’, her schmaltzy duet with Jason Donovan After the mock wedding, there’s a ‘reception’. “So they just got married,” she explains, “that was a wedding, so officially that means the party is about to start. You got some moves for us? Something’s coming to me – it’s called 1990!”, she jokes, as she busts some nostalgic steps to the ‘90s triumvirate of ‘Shocked’ (with rap), ‘Step Back In Time’ and Better The Devil You Know’. Ending with ‘All The Lovers’, the Nashville-influenced ‘Dancing’ (with its quintessential Kylie chorus rallying-cry of ‘When I go out, I wanna go out dancing’) and ‘Spinning Around’, she easily has Open’er in the palm of her (numb) hands.
Earlier in the day, future-facing flamenco star Rosalía brings her rewiring of Spanish tradition with R&B beats to a packed Tent Stage, with an electrifying choreography-heavy performance that peaks with the exhilarating ‘Malamente’. On the main stage, the reformed classic line up of 90s rock giants The Smashing Pumpkins (with the exception of original bassist D’arcy Wretzky) underline their influence on music with an hour-long set that begins with ‘Zero’ and culminates with ‘Today’, while aired tracks from their latest Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.’ effortlessly update their legacy. An early evening set by G-Eazy causes pandemonium. “When we first toured in Europe, we’d get ticket counts and my agent would send them over and Poland would always be the biggest shows and the most fans,” he explained to NME earlier. Onstage, he commands: “So Poland, when this thing drops, I’m going to send this video to Carnage and Wiz Khalifa. I wanna see how crazy this goes! Hands up!”, before dropping their recent break up anthem ‘Wait For Me’, as the audience jump up and down like Whac-A-Moles. If Kylie was the night’s wedding, then G-Eazy was the raucous stag weekend beforehand.