Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Kelis concert was amazing! (Warning, nerdy fandom.) I wasn't prepared to get excited after the horrid letdown of last time (Gemma said in an email that she hoped it wouldn't be a "flashback"!! Genius!), although I condescended to drink a milkshake with dinner. I wasn't even excited when me and Gemma were waiting in the queue out the front of the Metro with all the other gay men, booty hos and their boyfriends. Although I was very excited at some of the fashions I observed: like the hot-pink tights with seams up the back, gold knee-high boots, all manner of trashy bling, and one booty ho had a ridiculous pink fedora hat. Actually there were quite a few ridiculous hats. Which reminds me - ooh! I want to buy one of those hats that's a cross between a visor and a beanie. It makes me quite cross actually - after observing a few people wearing these last Saturday, the cogs of belated trendspotting started grinding in my brain and I mentioned to Tash and Penny that these hats were in. Then what does Tash do - she buys one that very afternoon and gives it to Penny. Now it'll look like Penny was onto it first, especially as she hangs out with that self-appointed 'cool' Bourgie crowd.
Okay, so we got inside - the Metro is the perfect venue for a show like this. It was like something out of the opening scene of Honey - trashy R&B playing and people dancing on the sunken dancefloor beneath the largest mirrorball in Melbourne. In honour of the sheer trashiness of the occasion I was drinking champagne with raspberry cordial in it, which I observed this gay guy in a flat cap and waistcoat ordering. (More on him later.)
Me and Gemma quickly secured a good spot towards the front and middle of the dancefloor. We were standing next to the gay guy and his friends. I couldn't work out if they were hairdressers or fashion students, but you get the type - they looked like they'd put lots of time and thought into their outfits. The guy had a white Bonds t-shirt with a taupe waistcoat over the top, and lots of silver chains. He also had a black knapsack worn diagonally across his body with the bag at the back. He was with this Asian chick who had honey-golden hair done in loose curls. She had on a leopard-print top with a denim vest over the top, held together with two large diamante-encrusted safety pins. She had heaps more blingy brooches pinned to the vest, and marvellous diamante hoop earrings.
She made me feel ashamed of my relative dowdiness. I had dressed in ten minutes flat, for practicality rather than glamour. I was wearing a black ruched deep-V neckline singlet top, a knee-length denim skirt (cos of the pockets, so I didn't need a bag), black 3/4 leggings and yellow Converse All-Star sneakers. I also had on about six gold chain necklaces of varying lengths and textures, about the same number of gold bracelets and large dangly, vaguely round gold earrings. Gemma was even more dressed down because she had ridden her bike.
Anyway, so the support act, 1200 Techniques, come on. I particularly like their constant insistence on being "old school", given that at least one of the members was probably in nappies during the 80s. Also, I find DJ Peril really funny because he will never be seen without a hat, and makes all his friends call him Peril even though his real name is Jason. (Or something like that - a friend of a friend went to high school with him and likes to embarrass him by calling him his real name.) Also, I found it funny that two of the three members were wearing 1200 Techniques t-shirts. I couldn't work out if that was cool or really uncool to wear your own t-shirt, but it seemed uncool at the time.
I will say this - they were really tight as live performers, and they certainly got the crowd going, especially this guy in a singlet who stood out like dog's balls because a) he was dressed like one of Tony Mitchell's beloved subcultural hip-hoppers, and b) he was probably the only single straight man in the place. Oh wait, he had a friend with him. Anyway, he looked really deranged like he was on crystal meth, and jumped around howling things like "Do 'Karma'!" It was kind of embarrassing to watch 1200 Techniques do the whole "When I say 12, you say hundred" thing, but in the spirit of the night I put my hands in the air, like I just didn't care. It was really funny to observe how unimpressed bling girl was, though - at one point bag man observed her pouting and said to her "Are you OK?"
Then the DJ started up again while Kelis' band came on, and more and more people started to crowd onto the dancefloor. It started to get really smooshy (singlet man was grinding sweatily against me) and the guy with the knapsack started to get really narky because he thought people were shoving him. But they weren't - it was just that with his bag, he was the width of two normal people, and because the bag was black, people couldn't see it in the dark and assumed there was a gap behind him that they could push through. One of these people was the singlet guy, and the bag boy turned around and said aggressively, "Stop shoving me!"
"Hey man, I wasn't shoving you!" said singlet man.
"Yes you were!" said bag boy.
Singlet man muttered something abusive under his breath and bag boy challenged him to repeat it, but then appeared to realise he didn't want to get punched and went "Look, just forget about it."
But then one of bag boy's friends, this brunette with a camera, started screaming at singlet man to "Leave him alone!" Which was wonderful because the whole thing could have been defused, but she just made singlet man angrier. I was standing right beside them and I was worried that if there was a punch-on, someone would punch me. But eventually the problem was solved when all of bag boy's friends formed a human wall and bodily pushed singlet man about five rows back.
I'll skip now to the part where Kelis came onstage and - man - she was exactly how I'd imagined her! You know the cliche that performers always look 'smaller' in person, or a little different, or whatever. Kelis was amazingly beautiful and incredibly charismatic. Gemma and I had been discussing what she might wear, and we agreed it would be tight jeans and a cleavagey top, which was exactly what she was wearing. The top was black and see-through (underneath she was wearing a stripey bikini top) and had shoulder pads and little ruffly sleeves. The jeans were very pale denim with silver buttons and what looked like faux braces hanging down. And she had black patent sneakers. And bling! She had a marvellous diamond-encrusted watch, much like the ones I've been eyeing off in the Paint'n'Powder perfumery in Royal Arcade (I asked - they're around $200). She had a diamond bracelet and heaps of diamond necklaces, and in one ear she had two large diamond hoops and in the other a dangly mass of silver and mother-of-pearl.
We were about four 'rows' (but we were all smooshed together) from the front - I was just amazed to see Kelis actually in the flesh, right in front of me, and hear her sing and talk. Most of the songs she did were from Tasty, with a few from Wanderland and Kaleidoscope. "This is an old song, y'all probably don't know it," she said at one point. "I DOOOO!" screamed bag boy, who spent most of the concert taking pictures of her with his mobile phone. At another point some chick yelled "I wanna have your baby!" and Kelis laughed quizzically and said "Thanks, but how is that possible?"
I won't bore you with an in-depth analysis of the songs she did, but for me, the highlight was definitely "Milkshake", which predictably she saved til last, and stripped off her top to ponce about wearing just the bikini. Other highlights were "Keep It Down", "Get Along With You", "In Public" and "Rollin' Through the Hood" (which was a much better version than the insipid album version), and I wish she'd done more of "Caught Out There" - she just did the first verse and held the mic out to the crowd. The noise of "I hate you so much right now!" was just mink-blowing.
I was a little disappointed that she didn't do some of my other favourites like "Digital World", "Suspended", "Flash Back" and "I Want Your Love", but as I said to Gemma, she's here to flog Tasty and besides, the other songs are nasty reminders of her split with the Neptunes. At one point bag boy screamed, "Do 'Finest Dreams'!" and she said "I didn't know y'all got that out here" and sang just a little bit ("Oh baby you're the finest...") before saying, "no, no, I won't do that one." Overall, I thought it was more of a rock show than an R&B show, and that was reflected in the material she did.
Afterwards Kelis went to sign overpriced t-shirts and posters, but me and Gemma were buggered from standing in one spot for three hours (plus as Gemma said, "It's so embarrassing to get people's autograph"), so we went to Rian's beloved old workplace, the Welcome Stranger, where Gemma ordered a strawberry milkshake (!!) and cutely, the guy brought it out with the leftover milkshake in a little glass, which I drank. And we dissected the concert and all the people walking past, crippled from their high heels. Gemma's verdict: "It was the best concert I've ever been to." My verdict: "I agree."

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter