The Palais, St Kilda
1 February 2011
When I told a friend I was seeing Sia Furler live, he asked me to pass on a message, should I meet her. I was to be the intermediary for his marriage proposal to her. Unfortunately this is as close as I got to asking her.
But when I saw her on stage, I also wanted to marry her. Well maybe not marry – I can’t cut my friend’s grass – but I definitely wanted to become her friend.
One thing I admire is Sia’s individuality and inhibition for being herself while in the spotlight. These traits make me want to be her friend. And also her creativity – wow! I love how she doesn’t rely on tits and arse to get noticed, like many other pop stars do. Her beauty is her voice and imagination which she uses on stage.
I don’t know how much of a say musicians have in the creative visual design of their stage, costumes and videos. But I’d say Sia has quite a bit of say. Her stage was decorated in small room dividers, crocheted nanna rugs and sheets, all geometrically printed with stripes and squares. These covered the floors, speakers and instruments. A big fabric mural hung as the back drop, with 3D letters spelling SIA. Even the musicians’ clothes were striped different directions, so at times, all you could see was their hands playing their guitars or piano and their faces.
Sia arrived on stage looking like a doll stuck to its packaging. She was painted black – her arms, face, legs, shoes, and even hair. A giant piece of card was attached to her back. She wore a beautiful candy pink tutu skirt and black feathered top, perhaps inspired by the movie Black Swan. It was a wonderful, intriguing sight, and I imagine it may have been restrictive – judging by her extremely limited movement on the stage during the night (walk on stage, move arms to dance around a bit, walk off stage…).
The audience was a stylish one. Very many quaffs in hair, and some cool, cool clothes. I saw a woman with a tattoo of a skyline on her arm – so very cool! I felt like Sia gave me permission to wear my bright blue luxury pyjama pants, just by her previous clothing choices. Some of the audience seemed to be hardcore fans, probably following her whole music career. I, on the other hand, like perhaps some other fans at the concert, am a recent fan. I came to know her music from the We Are Born album via the lazy person’s way – the Nova radio station. And I then listened to her older stuff and wished I’d known about her sooner.
Sia interacted with the audience throughout the show. I love that she’s maintained her Aussie drawl despite living overseas for years. She is an avid Twitter user and gave a shout out to her followers (one lovely Twitter follower baked her cookies, and I spoke to the cookie baker after the show and she recognised me from No Limits!). A couple of weeks back I requested an interview with Sia for Ramp Up (I wanted to ask her about her illness, and also working with the Deaf community on the Soon We’ll Be Found clip) – I asked her for an interview on Twitter. I was so impressed she wrote back, even with a polite decline.
My favourite songs of the show were Soon We’ll Be Found (she signed through the song), I Go to Sleep, You’ve Changed, Bring Night, The Girl You Lost to Cocaine, and Clap Your Hands. Her vocal range really stood out live. She was powerful, soft, husky, and classical throughout. Some songs were calm, others were disco. Really amazing.
The thing that impressed me the most during the show was her wit. So very funny. So many memorable funny moments (I took notes).
After the first song, Sia spoke about heckling. Then an audience member called something which Sia misheard as ‘party ruler’ and she replied ‘Party ruler. Like 30 centimetres’. And the laughs kept coming.
She spoke about her love for chair dancing (‘it’s relaxed’), and then said that chair dancing is not at all annoying for the person sitting behind you.
She asked what channel is our Mum and Dad, and proceeded to list the Australian TV channels. The consensus was most Dads are ABC, and she quipped ‘some people get VH1 [dads]’.
We wrote a song together – it comprised four words that audience members called out: Seven, Love, Locomotion and Spaghetti. It was fun, and cleverly impromptu.
She talked about mispronunciation of words and asked the audience what words they used to mispronounce. She said ‘uncomforbumptable’ and the audience called out words such as ‘amblience’ (ambulance) and ‘barkaloo’ (BBQ). At the end of the show she said this discussion was her favourite part.
Someone yelled out that they’d named their dog Sia. She said that she feels like she could die now, and that’s the best thing that could happen to her aside from being placed on a worst dressed list in People magazine after the ARIAs – she came between Cher and Padma Lakshmi.
She asked the audience whether the onstage banter was boring. I thought it was equally as great as the music! I loved how funny she is – it’s really charming.
Sia closed the show with a ‘fake encore’ – comprising of Clap Your Hands while wearing her bubble wings. Literally, wings that rotated, attached to her arms, and blew bubbles via a fan. Adorable.
And instead of the regular bow, she and the band showed thanks with starjumps!
Sia was so lovely, so charming, fun and cute and so talented that I really really wanted to hang out with her for a day. Definitely not your average pop/super star.
After the show I thanked Sia the modern way by tweeting her. My tweet is the first grey one, the other is from Ruby Rose. And lookie!