Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 25, 2010
Quirky? Check. Fun? Check. Colorful? Check. Audience interaction? Check. Vocal talent? Check. Great songs? Check. Inclusion of my favorite song in the set list? Check. In the end, Sia’s performance this past Sunday night at Chicago’s Vic Theatre left me highly satisfied, willing to see the singer live in concert again, and wanting to tell all of my friends about the undeniably talented songwriter. Basically, Sia is amazing. Having interviewed the pop singer/songwriter just a few weeks ago, I had a pretty good grasp on her personality. While doing my research in preparation for my interview with Sia, I became quite familiar with her sound and style of music. However, due to the fact that this show was my first time witnessing the glory and goofiness that is Sia, I had no clue what to expect from her live performance. By the end of the first song “The Fight,” I knew that this adorable feisty Aussie lady would put on quite a show. And that she did.
More photos of Sia and the set list after the jump…
Before “Buttons” began, a fan from the crowd was brought up on stage to conduct sign language to match Sia’s lyrics. Emily was the first of three fans who knew sign language to be invited on stage. As “Buttons” played on, Emily proved herself by signing in perfect synchronization with the words coming out of Sia’s mouth. Note that the singer’s new album We Are Born will not be commercially available until June 8, 2010. Therefore, fans in the audience were unfamiliar with the new songs, of which Sia performed seven (out of an initial eight) from We Are Born.
The night kicked off with new track “The Fight,” which was followed by oldie “Buttons.” The third song of the evening was another new tune, “You’ve Changed.” Sia was well aware that Emily would not be able to sign the words to a song she may have never heard before, and proceeded to give the girl a break. Emily sat out “You’ve Changed,” obviously grateful to be released of the responsibility of having to sign along to a song she did not know.
The only complaint I have with Sia’s performance is the vocalist’s decision to include a cover in her already too short set list. “Oh Father” by Madonna was the fifth song of Sia’s gig. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Madonna. I love Madonna. Who doesn’t enjoy Madonna? My disappointment was due to the fact that Sia chose to perform a cover versus singing one of her own compositions. Most of my respect toward the Australian-born artist comes from the simple truism that this woman can write songs. Not only does she write all of her lyrics, she writes the majority of the underlying music.
Sia creates memorable melodies that are now stuck in my head after seeing her sing the catchy choruses and verses that will be in my music library for the rest of my life. I just wish that instead of Madonna’s “Oh Father” being a part of the set, a song from Sia’s own catalog could have been chosen in its place. Is that not what every fan wants when going to see one of their favorite artists live in concert? When I attend a show, I want to hear as much music from that band or singer as possible in the short amount of time I have with the artist. Come to find out, Sia’s version of “Oh Father” will be released as a fully recorded track on We Are Born.
Due to popular demand emanating from the shouts and yells of various audience members, Sia gave in and convinced her band to play a little of “Pee On Me.” This impromptu performance of an inside joke between Sia and her band came after the We Are Born newbie “Never Gonna Leave Me” and the Some People Have Real Problems classic “The Girl You Lost To Cocaine.” Sia introduced “You Have Been Loved” by announcing, “This next song is for the losers in love.”
Inevitably the time came when Sia had to sing that one monstrous hit single that she will forever be known for, as it catapulted her “dying fucked career” (the singer’s words) into high gear when placed in the series finale of HBO’s Six Feet Under. The fan favorite that I am talking about is of course, “Breathe Me.” The awe of the crowd during “Breathe Me” was unbelievable to say the least. An eerie silence filled the Vic after the first refrain and only the wail of an ambulance siren could be heard for the few seconds before the somber swell of the instruments started up again, allowing Sia to launch into the second verse.
According to the Chicago set list, the eighth new We Are Born tune “The Co-Dependent” was intended to kick off Sia’s two-song encore. However, because of the singer’s enthusiastic approach to audience interaction and penchant for mindless chatter, the venue’s strict 10pm curfew derailed the songwriter’s original plans. “We have four minutes left still, so we’re going to do ‘Soon We’ll Be Found,’” exclaimed a frazzled and rushed Sia. Cue yours truly throwing my empty drink in the trash, sprinting up to the barricade, shoving people out of my way, and whipping out my HD Flip video camera. Then I hit record. Then I sang my heart out along to one of the most beautiful pieces of music my ears have ever been exposed to.
“Soon We’ll Be Found” is by far my favorite Sia song and I told that to the woman who wrote it when I interviewed her earlier this month. Thank goodness “Soon We’ll Be Found” is four minutes and twenty seconds long. My night was saved. Needless to say, I would have been extremely upset if this tune had not been performed last Sunday night. I would like to think that Sia remembered our conversation over the phone and consciously chose to place the piano-heavy minor key (and slightly depressing) song at the end of her set. I suppose great minds do think alike.
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