Kylie's Wet and Wild Tour

KYLIE Minogue is promising her best tour ever, but fans have to be prepared to get wet.
Everyone's a critic.
Kylie Minogue launched her super-sized world tour Aphrodite Les Folies in Denmark late last month and will bring it this way for a home run in June.
She's hoping her latest nephew Ethan will attend his first Aunty Kylie concert when it hits Melbourne.
"I might have to customise a little tour T-shirt for him," Minogue says of sister Dannii's son.
"I would love it if he came just so historically he knew he came to my show."
Her brother Brendan's sons James and Charlie are also champing at the bit to see their aunty on stage again.
"Although Charlie did say to me, 'Don't make the show too long, I don't like it when it's too long'," Minogue says. "Hilarious."
Minogue is also fielding fan feedback via Twitter. As soon as the tour's setlist was revealed, the tweet bleats began.
"People were tweeting saying, 'You should put this song in'," Minogue sighs, with a slightly defeated air.
"If I said to those fans, 'You write the setlist', I'd love to see the comments they get. I'm never going to please everyone, but it's an Aphrodite tour. I love having that many Aphrodite songs in it."
However, the bleating hasn't put her off Twitter.
"Most people are nice," she says. "A few are mildly psychotic, but it's OK, I don't meet them."
The main bone of contention so far is the absence of her first two hits - Locomotion and I Should Be So Lucky; songs released 24 and 23 years ago, respectively.
"I've done those songs for the last few tours," she says. "I'm more concerned for the loyal fans who've been to those tours and giving them a new experience. Even Can't Get You Out Of My Head is 10 years old now ... "
Aphrodite Les Folies is Minogue's biggest show to date, a state-of-the-art, big-budget pop concert.
The idea was spawned on Minogue's first US tour in 2009. The singer was working on her Aphrodite album; the title track provided a ready-built tour concept - the goddess of love who arose from the sea.
"Initially we all thought 'What? Water? Can we do this?' " she recalls.
Indeed, the water - which is sprayed on the audience and dancers from the $25 million stage - posed a fairly basic problem ... water and electronics don't mix.
"There's been a lot of research done," tour production director Steve Dixon says. "I would say we had 700 hours of electrical engineering on this tour. Trust me, it's safe. I don't think there's anything this technical outside of Vegas."
Dixon has helped bring to life pop spectacles for everyone from Britney Spears to Justin Timberlake. He got Tait Towers, the team who built U2's "Claw", as well as stages for Madonna and the Rolling Stones, to construct Minogue's Aphrodite stage.
"They're the best of the best, but we stumped them with this tour," Dixon says.
The water must be kept at a certain temperature to ensure Minogue and her dancers don't catch colds.
The stage is made from recycled tyres to stop it being slippery, with holes throughout to let the water drain.
And the amount of recycled water used is less than required to flush the toilets in most venues on show day.
Minogue is thrilled with the entire production.
"I'm a techie at heart," she says. "I love all that stuff. I am in love with my stage. I could actually kiss it. It's so fine-tuned, it's like stepping into a solid house. And I've never had such a big quick-change area. I'm like 'Who do you think I am? Janet Jackson?' "
For the first time, Minogue is selling VIP "splash zone" tickets that allow fans to get close, personal ... and quite wet.
"We give them a backpack with a towel and a poncho," she says. "They want to get wet. Go figure."
The singer is aware that her biggest tour arrives at a time when many tours are struggling. So far Aphrodite Les Follies is on track to sell out most shows.
"There's always one difficulty or another in this business. Currently it's selling tickets," she says.
"For the first time my prices are higher, which I went into Terry (Blamey, manager) and asked him to explain, and apparently we're still very fair compared to what's going on."
Another difficulty in 2011 is selling albums. Sales of singles from Aphrodite did not match their quality, punished with some of her lowest chart positions in the UK and Australia in years. There will be no more singles from the album.
"It's confusing," she says. "I felt a little let down with my releases from Aphrodite. I was caught out like a lot of artists were, with record companies figuring out how to do single releases these days.
"I remember doing a promo for one of the last singles and it just felt really old-fashioned. I'm pretty computer-savvy, something didn't feel right, but no one said anything to me.
"Then you get Britney (Spears) releasing Hold It Against Me and Gaga's Born This Way available on iTunes the day you hear it first. That's how it should be. And there's me waiting for a mid-week chart figure like it's 1989. I was a bit disappointed by that. I didn't know how to gauge the success of the singles. How do you measure it now?"
This tour also marks an important personal milestone for Minogue.
The breast-cancer survivor has just passed her five-year all-clear mark.
For her previous two tours, Minogue's health has required a concert interval as well as no more than two consecutive shows. Now the interval is gone and she's back to working up to three days in a row.
The singer marked the first show, in Denmark, quietly. "We had some pink champagne and it was really chilled afterward. It's back to normal, but like everything it's the new normal," she says.
"With all that experience I've gone through, personally and professionally, it feels like the right time to do it. I'm back with all guns blazing."
Minogue's boyfriend Andres Velencoso will join her every night on tour - the Spanish model appears on screen during Cupid Boy, wearing gold underwear.
"We tried to get him in a fig leaf, but he wasn't having it," Minogue laughs. "Bless him. We gathered up the courage to ask if he wouldn't mind being my cupid boy."
More than at any time in the past, she's comfortable talking about her love life.
"Andres will come out on tour when he can. He makes himself at home and that makes me at ease," she says.
Dixon knows the Aphrodite tour is a gamble - "This is either the most brilliant thing I've ever created or we're all stupid!" he says.
Minogue is more confident.
"It just feels like a euphoric show. I still can't believe we pulled it off."

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Jon said...

That really is a fabulous article - wet'n'wild, indeed! Jx

Barbarella's Galaxy said...

Great article! Love how she gets intot he single releases as well.