‘Was she even there?’ Fans fume at Sia’s first gig
SIA'S current Australian stadium tour is not your average pop concert - and it's leaving some fans very confused.
The Aussie-born star's disdain for the limelight is legendary: She's barely shown her face in public in several years and has used her music videos since 2014 worldwide hit Chandelier as a platform to instead showcase the talents of dancer Maddie Ziegler.
But many who attended her show at Melbourne's AAMI Stadium last night were shocked to find Sia's shyness extends to paying audiences.
Fans who'd paid up to $179 for tickets witnessed a 90-minute, hit-filled spectacular, with dancers and video screens - but barely a glimpse of the woman they'd come to see.
Sia stayed towards the back and side of the stage for the duration, her face obscured, and her entire body not visible to fans in some seats. Many fans reported they didn't hear so much as a "Hello Melbourne" from their idol during the concert.
Some questioned whether she was even at the show - while others asked why the video screens showed prerecorded videos rather than a live feed of what was happening on stage.
Sat thru 3hrs of support acts for 75min show. Artist stood in same spot all show, no audience interaction, relied entirely on backing-track (no live band) & pre-record video. Boring & pretentious— Dave Lee (@davlee1991) November 30, 2017
Was @Sia even there or have we been had?@ChuggEnt Want my $140 back#siamelbourne
I went to the concert to see sia pic.twitter.com/njNu0uU7Pm— maddisyn (@maddisyn13) November 30, 2017
Others spoke up to defend the Titanium hitmaker, arguing that the nature of the show had been well-documented since her world tour kicked off more than a year ago, and dubbing her a "visionary" for subverting the usual pop concert format:
People who go to #Sia concert expecting an Oprah style chat to the crowd = idiots. Flawless vocal, killer interpretation of vids, loved every second.— Pitty (@pittworldwide) November 30, 2017
@Sia So enjoyed tonight's concert. Voice superb. Dancing/performances engrossing. Felt I was watching a play. Want to feel it again.— Bouclay (@jardintree) November 30, 2017
Imagine not understanding the concept of the Nostalgic For The Present tour 🙄 Honesltly, how can critics write a review of the concert without knowing anything about its unique take? Forever baffled about this..— SIA Furler Source (@SiaFurlerSource) November 30, 2017
Love it or hate it, Sia's 2017 live show is certainly a world away from her last Australian tour, in 2011. She was here as part of the Big Day Out and played a handful of theatre side shows, taking to the stage in attention-grabbing costumes and bantering at length with audiences - even noting during a gig at Sydney's Enmore Theatre that those in attendance were "quite a horny bunch."
Since then, though, Sia's gone public with her mental health battles, and the toll her rising fame had taken on her state of mind. By 2013, she planned to retire as a singer and focus on songwriting instead, but instead found a compromise that works for her: Releasing music, but doing all she can to limit her visible public profile.
Sia's Nostalgic for the Present Australian tour finishes up at Sydney's Allianz Stadium this Saturday. Tickets are still available.