Live Review: Sia, MØ, Charli XCX - Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Live Review: Sia, MØ, Charli XCX - Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Fluffy / Wednesday 6th December, 2017 11:35AM

A triple threat of pop stars descended upon Mt Smart Stadium last night with Aotearoa being graced by the mysterious Sia, the charismatic and the always bubbly Charli XCX. We sent along secret super-fan Fluffy to document the action. Read his review below...

Upon arriving at Mt Smart, subs were throwing bass-lines like Olympic shot-puts as I arrived just in time to catch my favourite pop star of the moment Charli XCX. If a dude in a Carcass shirt made me feel slightly more at home wearing my unrecognizable Sleep attire, this feeling was quickly negated by my overenthusiastic warbling of the infectious hook of ‘I Don’t Wanna Go To School’ amid the largely young, school night crowd. Smash hit ‘Boys’ provided the escapist euphoria that is only palpable when 1000 early morning karaoke sessions are culminated in a stadium-sized sing-along.

A new, previously-unheard-to-this-fan track boasted a strong jungle influence with deep Amazonian rhythms. Charli's energetic rendition of ‘Fancy’ highlighted her formidable hype-woman prowess and was arguably stronger from a lack of Iggy Azalea’s presence. Closing number ‘Boom Clap’ condensed all the bittersweet, lovelorn emotions of The Fault In Our Stars (the film from which that tune is the lead single to the soundtrack of) into three heart-melting minutes.

XCX’s stylist was clearly not yet acclimatised to the southern hemisphere’s summer, with the chanteuse donning a devilishly warm latex outfit and being visually overheated by the end of her set. Extra points for the super snazzy diamante studded shades though.

delivered a powerful performance with the bass being stepped up from cannonball-sized pulses to Crash Bandicoot-esque boulder beats. It was all the more impressive seeing these huge sounds emanating from an accompanying live keyboardist, guitarist and drummer. The Danish artist's fierce and fearless stage presence during ‘Kamikazi’ was nothing short of world class. She then proceeded to highlight her multi-faceted talents by launching into a series of club-slaying bangers. Heartfelt and hard-partying? Consider me won over. From there, the offbeat melodic territory commenced with several reggae influenced numbers continuing to provide a vehicle for MØ’s badass command of the stage. Her vocal performances were unprecedentedly excellent, all the more so when backed by grooving synthesized horn lines. ‘Final Song’ was amusingly, the second to last track she pulled from her impressive repertoire, with audacious singsongs and no-one-watching dance moves abounding throughout Mt Smart.

As the sun set, the words ‘Champion Chills’ appeared on screen, swiftly followed by a floating, close up profile of a fellow with a thick beard and a voice along similar lines to El-P of Run The Jewels. This caught the crowd off-guard somewhat as they thirsted for choruses.

Finally, submerged in the summer twilight, the stage curtains opened to ‘Alive’ with Sia and her 15 year old dancing sidekick Maddie Ziegler eliciting eruptions of appreciative applause from the wig-donning crowd. The stage show was a triumph of technicality, leaving punters unsure if the previously seen crowd cams were now being operated at music video level skill or if the entire show was being masterfully synched, to the finest nuanced movements and lighting decisions, to pre-existing footage. It eventually dawned on me that it was a seamless combination of both.

Bizarre reversed recordings littered the breaks between songs, but unlike the earlier unanticipated MC, the unexpected sections inspired intrigue. With a set clocking in at just over an hour, Sia covered a solid chunk of her hit territory, including ‘One Million Bullets’, ‘Cheap Thrills’, ‘Elastic Heart’, as well as a cover of Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’, which I was later informed she had a hand in writing. ‘Chandelier’ was possibly the standout singalong of the evening, with neigh on every punter belting out the chorus with mouths agape, giving everything they had to the famed refrain.

Encore song ‘The Greatest’ expanded her onstage entourage to five and evoked a foot stomping response from attendees, before the show was fittingly seen out with the production’s filmography muscles being flexed one final time. The outro video depicted Ziegler walking backstage and high-fiving Sia-haired crew members who congratulated her on “nailing it”.


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