Kelis Live in Concert @ Metro City, Perth 16/7/04
Tuesday, 27 July 2004
It began when discounted tickets were sold through some sales outlets after many fans had already purchased full priced tickets. There was then an excessive amount of promotion and giveaways, last minute changes to some of the tour dates and cancellation of Adelaide's gig without any explanation.
The night started off well, so it looked at first like these incidents had not affected the R&B diva's Perth visit. By 10:30pm enough people had arrived at Metro City to create a good atmosphere and by 11:00pm, the ground area in front of the stage was packed. Although the venue had far from reached full capacity with most of the upstairs areas closed off.
Local Dj's Don Migi and Gerry T were first on the bill, playing a variety of commercial hip hop and R&B tunes that included Missy Elliott, Punjabi MC and 50 Cent. It had the desired effect of hyping the crowd in anticipation of Kelis' arrival.
After spotting some funky guys scouting the crowd from an upper level balcony, I knew that Kelis had arrived. The funky guys were members of her 6-piece band that includes a DJ, guitarist, bass player, drummer, keyboardist and backup singer.
At midnight all the band members hit the stage and Kelis followed soon after. As expected, she looked fabulous with her wild hair, tight-fitting jeans and glitzy designer top.
After the first upbeat track it was evident she was very relaxed and comfortable on stage after asking for the smoke machine to be turned off and saying to the crowd "Do ya all have sex in public out here-" This was the introduction to the track "In Public" off her latest album, Tasty.
Not long into the performance she sat on a stool and sang some of her slower tracks including "Attention", which she said was all about telling the man you love that you need a bit of attention. It was then I noticed she was struggling with her voice, particularly when reaching for those high notes. She also occasionally referred to hand written notes on a music stand, at one point saying she couldn't remember the lyrics to a recent song she had written.
Around this point in time, the crowd was relatively quiet. It was a little disappointing and dare I say it, boring- There wasn't a great deal of energy on stage and considering her band set-up, this came as a bit of a surprise. It seemed that once the novelty of Kelis appearing live on stage had passed, there wasn't much left to maintain the interest.
After singing what she thought may be her next single, the crowd picked up again and it seemed like the lull had passed. The DJ asked everyone to put their hands in the air and everyone responded enthusiastically. Shortly after, Kelis performed her current single "Trick Me" and the massive hit "Milkshake".
But just as it started to get interesting again it was suddenly finished, after only one hour and no encore.
Whether it was trouble with her voice or the 9 hours it had taken her to reach Perth, it appeared that Kelis' milkshake did bring out all the boys (and girls) to Metro City, but we were taught nothing, yet still charged. In fact $55 for what turned out to be a very average performance.