The perils of touring come in many varieties, and can often derail a show, but last night (Feb. 26) after Har Mar Superstar delivered his set of ass-shaking funk to the masses at the Fine Line Music Café, Australian popstress Sia showed the road who was boss.
With a backing band dressed as glow-in-the-dark renditions of children’s drawings, Sia opened with the glitchy, upbeat “Buttons,” pushing the surreal factor through the roof as brightly lit swirls flashed like Technicolor. Next the frontwoman, clad in pink jeans and a T-shirt, greeted the crowd and explained she was experiencing a self-described affliction called “uh-oh bum” — a Midwest version of Montezuma’s Revenge courtesy of a bad batch of beef tacos.
Dashing off the stage only once, Sia managed to never falter vocally, her voice full of pure unadulterated white-hot soul, and strong, pitch perfect and almost theatrical brilliance. Despite her illness, Sia certainly wasn’t absent in any shape or form, and the Minneapolis crowd, which was packed together like sardines, was vocally thankful.
Throughout the night Sia emanated a cheery and generous demeanor, as her white-blonde bob maintained an endearing mess as she anchored herself at the mic. Tracks from latest LP Some People Have Real Problems were the evening’s highlight; the sweet, radio-friendly romancer “Day Too Soon,” and buoyant, empowering “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine” logged as crowd favorites. But Sia also dug deep into her past career with post trip-hop outfit Zero 7, churning out “Destiny,” which brought the crowd to a chilled-out hush, as did her own tune “Academia” with it’s quirky wording and hypnotic lilt.
As the poignant piano renderings of “Breathe Me” began, fans knew it was going to be the last of Sia’s set. The popstress opted out of the encore, which didn’t seem to bother the crowd on this particular night; smiling faces departed the venue satisfied that Sia’s “Uh-oh Bum” didn’t translate into a shitty show. Get well soon, girl. Sia channeling her ‘uh-oh bum’ in song / Photo by Jonathan BehmThe Aussie chanteuse vocalizes ‘problems’ / Photo by Jonathan BehmCenter stage, Sia shines beneath a gloss of blue light / Photo by Jonathan BehmFor the child in all of us, Sia’s playfully clothed backing band rocks out / Photo by Jonathan Behm