IT’s pop but not as you know it when delivered in a stadium by that delightfully bewigged musical eccentric Sia.
The Australian songwriter to the stars has built her own career on anonymity, defiantly swapping fame for a black and white wig and a platform in the shadows at her Sydney concert in front of 30,000 fans at Allianz Stadium on a rainy Saturday night.
The performance art meets interpretative dance experience of the Nostalgic For The Present tour polarised her Melbourne audience but it was clear fans at her Sydney concert got the memo about this non-conventional pop show.
Tween girls wearing her signature bob wig mirrored every move executed by Sia’s teen alter ego Maddie Ziegler, and sang every word.
The woman behind so many chart-toppers from concert opener Alive to Diamonds by Rihanna, sang strongly as dancers including Ziegler, interpreted her songs.
The video screens broadcast prerecorded clips, occasionally starring actors Kristen Wiig, Paul Gano and Ben Mendelson which were mirrored by the live performance on stage.
Close ups appeared designed to assure the audience Sia was definitely in the house. And those who brought her to Australia for the concerts insisted she was indeed on stage. She certainly sounded like she was in the present when she reached for epic notes or adlibbed.
Despite the intermittent showers, the audience revelled and cheered and danced and sang to Cheap Thrills, Elastic Heart, Titanium and Chandelier.
The distraction of the video packages was forgotten as the Australian pop architect’s voice rang clear and true in a stadium which can be unforgiving when it comes to clarity of sound.
Of course it would have been better had she reached out to her audience with some hellos and thank yous. And she did utter a muffled “thank you for staying out here with me” before the encore as the crowd let fly with a stadium-rocking cheer.
And that’s Sia. She never promised you anything more than this.
It certainly sounded from the deafening cheer of the crowd at the end of the show they got what they came for.