Kylie Minogue Arrives in Sydney

A FREAK flash mob of about 100 loyal worshippers made Kylie Minogue feel oh so lucky last night.

At a Circular Quay cocktail party to celebrate her Aphrodite: Les Folies tour, the same troupe of dancers that staged a demonstration on the Opera House steps last November surprised the Aussie showgirl by serenading her with her own songs.

Minogue was bowled over by the rowdy reception, headed by drag queen Joyce Maynge, which included her 1987 hit I Should Be So Lucky.

"The sheer madness of staging this tour has been overwhelming, but hopefully it has been translated," Minogue said outside Wildfire restaurant last night.

Needless to say, she thought being welcomed home by a flash mob led by a fabulous drag queen was pretty good too. Maynge denied talk the scene was a publicity stunt.

"Oh no, I do it because I love her," she said.

Kylie arrives in Sydney to a surprise flash mob of fans outside the restaurant Wildfire, where she and her band played an impromptu semi-acoustic performance for an intimate crowd of media and celebrities...

Stealing the spotlight was Bondi babe Erin McNaught, paying homage in a pair of short shorts and saying she is a long-time fan.

"Can't Get You Out Of My Head is a favourite because it reminds me of finishing school and going clubbing for the first time," she said.

The surprise arrival was retired cricketer Brett Lee, who outed himself as a devotee. "Isn't everyone? She's great," he smiled.

Minogue circled the room like the pro she is and said she was "a little emotional to finally come home". Her boyfriend, sexy Spaniard Andres Velencoso, was nowhere to be seen.

Also there were former Bali jailbird Michelle Leslie, Dancing With The Stars judge Todd McKenny, sometime model and media personality Sophie Faulkner and up way-past-her-bedtime Sunrise co-anchor Melissa Doyle.

"I had a nap earlier to prepare, "   
Doyle laughed. "I just
I think she is an amazing, admirable woman."

The concert spectacle, which features a splash stage that sprays the audience with water, begins its first of three Sydney shows tonight before heading to Melbourne for shows next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Sydney fans arrive dressed to the nines to welcome Kylie to her  first of three performances here!...

Oz Live Review: Kylie Minogue - 
Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour
by Nathan Jolly

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality. That pretty much sums up the thematic elements of this amazing, mindblowingly elaborate stage show. To say this is the most spectacular staging seen at the Sydney Entertainment Centre is an understatement. To wander in from the cold and dank surroundings of Chinatown to the Greek wonderment and decadence of this show is akin to entering a shanty-town tent and discovering Xanadu. Our galleries do more justice to the staging than words could, but despite all the expensive Ancient Greece-via-Las Vegas staging, the hundreds of breathtaking costumes, the water-theme (which made for an unforgettable encore), and the impeccable choreography, the highlight was, not surprisingly, Kylie Minogue.

She was on from the very beginning, and showed no signs of flailing throughout the two and a half hour spectacle. Singing with a clarity and strength not seen from her in years and seeming as overwhelmed by the beauty of her surroundings as the audience were, she showcased why she is the premier pop star. Gaga’s costuming and stage-show has been deified, but as Kylie flew over the audience on the back of a golden angel, was dragged along in a chariot by Greek slaves, or sang on a revolving wheel as it slowly lifted from vertical to completely horizontal, she never once missed a beat, never faltered vocally, and pulled focus at all times; quite a feat when there is a twenty-foot golden horse/mythical beast in the background.

Musically, she focused for the most part on her very-excellent Aphrodite record, not a surprise considering this album is the impetus for the tour. There was a smattering of Kylie classics in the set too, each reinvented successfully. We got a jazzy, sultry version of club-anthem Slow, a club-version of ‘90s pop single What Do I Have To Do and a dirty distorted version of Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Confide In Me snaked and slithered, and provided a dose of indie-Kylie; quite the anomaly in such lush surroundings. The live backing band were first class, and added a freeing aspect to many of the tunes that would not have existed with a backing track.

Prior to the encore, Kylie came down to the centre of the stage for a chat; treating the thousands upon thousands of audience members like a small studio audience on a mid-morning chat show. She complimented people’s costumes, thanked everybody sincerely and even brought a cute 6-year-old girl onto stage with her to show off her Kylie-costume. Then the encore. Gushes of water shot out of the staging and drenched the audience members in the water-pit (who, judging by the name of their area, can’t have been too surprised. This turned the Entertainment Centre into an ancient Greek-Ibiza, and as she exited the stage to On A Night Like This and All The Lovers, (not before taking a few requests), it was clear that this show wouldn’t be topped this year for either staging or for audience-adulation. Kylie knows her audience, and they love her for it.

Sydney fans welcome Kylie to her second of three shows as the band goes on assignment before the show!...

For all the ceremony and camp theatrics, the most moving moment of the evening saw Kylie sitting on a staircase, singing If You Don’t Love Me, backed only by a piano. She was note perfect, but more than that, it was tender, heartfelt and by far the most intimate moment of the night. She sounded like a little-girl-lost, and as the audience yelled their love as if to bolster her spirits, Kylie was overcome with emotion. It was as if it hadn’t dawned on her before this moment how beloved she was. It was completely bereft of pretense, and as she was overwhelmed and embarrassed by all the attention, fighting back very-real tears, all the costumes, lighting and staging faded into insignificance. This is why we love Kylie; and this is why she is our greatest export. It’s nice to have her back, though.

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