2020 might have been a year devoid of live music, but for Kylie, who just dropped her fifteenth studio album DISCO, the show really must go on.
Kylie fans around the world were treated to a 50-minute virtual concert named Infinite Disco to celebrate the launch of her aptly named disco-revival pop record, which most fans and critics alike agree is her best in a decade – by a light year.
The virtual concert was a new first for Kylie, and was adored and roistered by her loyal fanbase, the Lovers, which after thirty-three years in the business is now made up of all ages, genders and musical persuasions.
More than just a success, it breathed shimmering colour, transcendent joy and pure sonic pleasure into our living rooms when we needed it most. Despite many countries heading into their second lockdown for the winter, for the first time in a while our Saturday night-in was something to look forward to.
Kylie, as adorable and timeless as ever in her glittery golden disco-diva jumpsuit against the backdrop of an intergalactic studio 54-influenced laser light spectacle, had us all gleaming ear to ear with the reminder that her showmanship is as much a feast on the eyes as it is on the ears.
In normal years, a new Kylie record comes hand-in-hand with a world tour announcement. But this time was of course different. With Infinite Disco beamed into our living rooms not even 48 hours after the album’s release, we were gifted with an unusual but welcome routine of seeing the album brought to life onstage early on in the album’s lifespan, before we had the chance to get to know the tracks* (*choreograph and perform elaborate dance routines).
With 9 brand new tracks, disco interpretations of the classic hits, and even a deep-cut for the hardcore fans, Infinite Disco was a delicious slice of what the Disco tour will look like – fingers-crossed it will happen eventually.
But until then, the LED light-up dance-mat stage, funky kaleidoscope visuals and Saturday night fever dance moves of Infinite Disco will have to suffice.
After a couple of album cycles venturing away from the theatrical, larger-than-life showgirl-esque style shows that she became known for throughout her career (she opted for a completely stripped-back vintage style on the Golden tour in 2018), and after a record-breaking Glastonbury performance that solidified her status as a pop legend, the DISCO live show feels as though it has been a career in the making.
While the live debuts of new songs like the certified bop Real groove and Abba-mimicking Last chance provided the show’s centre of disco-gravity, Kylie gave some of her old hits a disco makeover which complimented the concert’s nostalgic homage.
All the lovers and Love at first sight retained the celestial euphoria of their original releases while their disco-revised renditions landed safely among the new tracks. Fans went mad for the performance of Light Years, a quirky fan favourite that Kylie hasn’t sung in over a decade which was mixed with new fan favourite Supernova, a positive reminder that her continued excellence is often found in her effortless ability to keep the old hits sounding fresh.
Lead single Say something became a gospel choir singalong frenzy to provide the show that ethereal, uplifting popstar-turned-preacher moment where if you aren’t standing up yet, the hairs on the back of your neck at least are.
A highlight of the show was the clever fusion of disco royalty Donna Summer’s Love to love you baby and Kylie’s favourite Kylie song Slow which gave both songs a whole new dimension.
Hypnotic to the soul and orgasmic on the ears, this unlikely mashup was pure genius. If Kylie can make a disco version out of one of the least disco songs of her discography, she’s onto a winner.
The profusion of iconic 1970s and 1980s fashion and musical arrangements – an era that Kylie owes her inspiration and livelihood too – serve to prove that disco is an aesthetic that couldn’t suit a mature Kylie show more – glamourous, camp and freeing. All we need next is an on-stage roller-derby to complete the retro appeal.
With no concert tours to happen for the foreseeable it’ll be interesting to see how other pop artists translate their arena performances to the digital sphere, but Kylie has set a high standard for fellow disco-revival champion Dua Lipa to follow, who’s livestreamed concert Studio 54 debuts on November 27th.
For Kylie, she can put her feet up knowing she can add virtual performer to her long list of remarkable achievements, while she waits for the day that we can all be as one again.
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