Disco superstar goes from the mall to the mainland
by Josh Price • Photo by William Baker
Let’s take a moment to put on our leg warmers and sweatbands for a jog back to 1988—a time when girls would pile their hair so high it could give Houston’s skyscrapers a run for their money. It was a special era when new musical beats flowed and the long nights at the disco were just a memory. Kylie Minogue’s “Locomotion” was the new hit single on the airwaves, and its catchy beat provided hints about where music was headed. That tune proved to be a door-opener for this iconic pop artist.
But before we catch ourselves flash-dancing, let’s fast-forward back to 2011. Kylie Minogue is at the top of her game following the release of her 2008 album X and her 2009 North American tour. Critics claim that the 2010 album Aphrodite is her best yet, and spawned a popular world tour that consumed over $22 million in staging, costuming, and production expenses. Minogue was asked about her current U.S. tour as she was wrapping up a four-day run in Manchester, England.
First and foremost, we’re all wondering what we can expect to see in your North American tour.
There are so many different elements that are involved in this production. We can’t bring the entire U.K. production to the States, but we’re bringing everything that we can squeeze into the U.S. venues. The U.K. shows are massive spectacles. The stage is mesmerizing, and it’s so technically advanced. I genuinely think the best part of the show is the emotion in the room. How we create that emotion doesn’t really matter—it’s that we get to it! There is a group of supporters that have been with me for a long time, and it’s been a weird experience for me back in the States, compared with playing in other countries. I am so thrilled to come back and share that history with all of you. It’s like we’re all members of some secret society in the best sort of way. I guarantee that even though I can’t bring all of the staging to the States, I will make up for it with my passion and emotion.
How do you mentally prepare yourself for going on a tour?
There are a lot of sleepless nights, total anxiety, and excitement! It’s really demanding, both mentally and physically. Now that I have more experience, I understand the rehearsal process. I can see why I hurt after moving a certain way. We can only do what we can do. I think it’s a cruel twist of fate that opening nights are never the best, but it’s when you get the most reviews.
What about your backstage routine before each show?
A shot of Scotch is a must before going out on stage. I also do my own makeup, which calms my nerves and allows me to focus. The last few minutes before going out on stage are like walking through Narnia’s closet. You change from the person that you woke up as to the person who is aware of all the nuts and bolts behind the scenes, and finally to the person everyone expects to see.
Any plans for another album?
Everything seems difficult at the moment, in the midst of this tour, and it hasn’t been that long since the release of Aphrodite.
I don’t know how soon I will rush into releasing another album. I am definitely looking for opportunities to do some collaborations, or different performances that will keep my interest up. One of those things is the possibility of doing an “Anti-Tour.” My tours keep getting bigger and bigger. The spectacle is fantastic, and that’s what I want to create. But as with all parts of my life, I feel like I need to find balance. And I have never done anything like an “Anti-Tour” before—just doing the songs that are much loved by my super fans. I think it would be cool to be in a teeny-tiny venue somewhere, doing a week’s run that strips everything back.
Kylie Minogue’s 11-city U.S. tour comes to Houston’s Verizon Wireless Theater on May 10, and she promises it to be an intimate affair for the audience. Tickets are available at kylie.com.
Josh Price is a new contributor to OutSmart magazine.