Gladiators with bulging biceps.
A gilded Pegasus.
And this is the scaled-down version of Kylie Minogue’s tour.
On Friday night, the British/Australian megastar brought her $25 million “Aphrodite Live 2011” extravaganza to the Fox Theatre, and for two hours, the elfin Minogue and a cast of fantabulous dancers, singers and musicians reminded people that sometimes, it’s perfectly OK to indulge in mindless fun.
A Madonna-level star overseas with more than 60 million in worldwide album sales, Minogue has never quite burst through in America – save for a few months in 2001 with “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” – making this rare Stateside appearance all the more special.
The Fox was about 80 percent full, but this rabidly devoted crowd showered Minogue with the kind of roars reserved for royalty. The singer, who whipped through about eight Dolce & Gabbana fashions with Cher-like precision – looked genuinely mystified at the never-ending ovation she received after performing a rousing, gospel-tinged version of “There Must Be An Angel (Playing with My Heart).”
She’s endearing in that way, professing an air of self-deprecation even as she stands as a worldwide luminary.
Minogue, 42, also knows her audience: gay men and straight women, both which seemed audibly appreciative of the numerous muscled and oiled torsos continuously shown on video and stage, particularly during the lustful “Cupid Boy.”
Though this is a pared-down version of Minogue’s famously ornate European concerts, it still rivaled a Broadway production with a massive video screen stretching the width of the stage and framed by white columns, numerous rows of staircases, a dozen dancers and a set of adrenalized lights hyperactive enough to populate an arena show.
Between the dizzying array of eye candy onstage and the solid pulse of Minogue’s club-friendly songs, there was never any motivation to do anything other than stand and fist-pump.
It felt like a sweaty rave in the audience, while Minogue looked the part of a pristine princess all night, her hair tumbling perfectly down her back in angelic waves and her outfits – black feathered skirt, teensy gold mini, long white train – perfectly matched with her doll-like gracefulness.
In her pretty pop voice, Minogue sashayed through “I Believe in You” while being nudged across the stage in a chariot and deftly handled the more deliberately paced “Confide in Me.”
If there is the most minor of quibbles about Minogue, it isn’t her voice, a flexible instrument best showcased on “If You Don’t Love Me,” but that many of her mirror ball confections are virtually indistinguishable to all but the most ardent fans.
Can you really pinpoint a musical difference between “Spinning Around” and “Get Outta My Way”?
And though “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” is insanely infectious, is there much else to the song than its catchy “la la la” repetition?
But that’s also part of the beauty of Minogue.
She never overreaches for controversy or grand political statements. Instead, she is a dancing queen, a modern-day disco duchess and, truly, a pop star.