Kylie Is My Queen
By Noah Michelson
I've had affairs with other divas over the years: Madonna, Whitney, Mariah, Cher, and most recently, Lady Gaga, but Kylie has always been my true love because 1) she disappeared from America's radar after "The Locomotion" and not having to share her with the rest of the country made her feel more special; 2) she has consistently -- and unapologetically -- made some of the best pop music released during the last two decades; and 3) when she returned to the top of the U.S. charts in 2001 with "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" she chose not to tour here because she simply didn't need us -- she had stadiums to play on every other continent stuffed full of fans who had remained devoted to her from the beginning -- and I adored her for that decision.
Last night, after 20 years of waiting to see Kylie on stage, my dream finally came true. Ms. Minogue finished her first ever (and hopefully not last ever) North American tour with a third night at NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom and she did not disappoint. I won't go into too many details since Raymond already covered the bulk of the show with his review, but I will add a fourth reason to my list of why Kylie is my favorite pop star: she's the world's gayest pop star.
I know we gave that title to Lady Gaga this summer -- and I don't get me wrong, I still love Gaga for all she's done for the gay community both on and off stage from her acceptance speech at the MTV VMA's to her appearances this past weekend at the March On Washington -- but after last night's concert, I realized the tiara really belongs to Kylie.
Not only has she consistently and brilliantly mixed gay culture into her songs, lyrics, videos, and stage shows -- from her duet with the Pet Shop Boys on "In Denial" to the "Slow" video -- but she's done it without ever needing to actually say "Hey! Look how totally queer all my references are! I love gay people!" Instead she seems to be saying "What's the big deal? Isn't this the way things should be?" Last night she dressed her achingly gorgeous male dancers in corsets, tights, and knee-high boots and orchestrated several on stage orgies with men humping men, women humping women, and everything in between. When she wasn't mixing genders and sexualities, she was eliminating them all together: her dancers appeared as gunmetal gray androids or popping and locking Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with masks and costumes that made it impossible to tell who was whom, what sex they were, or exactly what kind of sexual shenanigans they were engaging in.
And that seems to be her point: men sometimes like to dress like women, women sometimes like to fuck other women, men sometimes like to kiss other men and women, and in the end, as long as everyone is treating each other well (or is agreeing to treat each other badly for the sake of a killer orgasm) and everyone is happy, it's all good. And that has always been her point. But I guess it never really hit me until until she brought her show to the U.S. -- a country that for all its talk of freedom and liberty and expression is light years behind other cultures and societies around the world when it comes to sexuality and sex.
The reviews of the tour have been good (there's even talk of her being offered a residency in Las Vegas a la Celine Dion, Cher, Elton John, and Bette Midler) and if the crowd from last night's concert is any indication, the fans (some of whom waited since 2 A.M. to secure a front row spot) are -- and have been -- hungry for as much Minogue as they can get. But even if she never comes back, I'll always have last night. As she closed the show with a surprise encore of "I Should Be So Lucky" from her debut album, I know I wasn't the only one in the venue was thinking it was us who were the lucky ones.
-- NOAH MICHELSON
Previously > Kylie Is Worth The Wait