Show Review: Kylie Minogue at The Fox Oakland, 9/30/09

by Gordon Elgart on September 30, 2009

The stage was hardly big enough to contain Kylie's show.

The stage was hardly big enough to contain Kylie's show.

First off, a spoiler warning.  Although usually seen in movie reviews, I think one applies here.  If you don’t want to know what songs she played, how many costume changes there were, and how she reworked some of her classic songs, then read no further.  If, on the other hand, you want to know what’s coming soon, or you aren’t going to have a chance to see for yourself, jump on board, take a ride, yeah.

When I arrived at the Fox at 6:15 tonight, the line to get in was enormous.  I don’t know how long people had been waiting to see Kylie (20 years, I guess for some), but there was an absolute electricity in the air.  This was going to be big.  Then the front of house manager explained to us that this was the biggest show yet put on at The Fox, and may be the biggest one it will ever do.  And oh my, was it ever.

At 8:30, the lights went down and we heard an overture of film music.  This is the pre-roll and lets everyone know to hurry up and get to their seats.  Then, the music to “Light Years” kicked in as a giant silver skull started descending from the rafters.  And who was on that skull?  Why Kylie Minogue of course.  Costume one:  A cyberpunk thing with feathers and an odd hat that looked like orbiting planets. The crowd went absolutely bonkers.  This was the first of many times that the crowd would go absolutely bonkers.

When the dancers came out dressed like Sorayama paintings, and began their choreographed moves with Kylie, every single dance step was met with huge amounts of applause and screaming.  The show has barely begun.  After a dirty disco rendition of “Come Into My World,” she finished the cyberpunk portion of the show with “In Your Eyes.”

She then came back out and did a medley of some of her Stock Aitken Waterman hits.  Costume two: sexy leather with shiny vest, cute and sexy. After this medley, she came back out in another costume.  Costume three: sexy cruise director borrowing the captain’s hat. She proceeded to play more hits, and this is where “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” showed up, not the end like might be expected.  During the sailing portion of the show (in which her background dancers were wearing catcher’s masks and Folsom gear), she finally introduced a three-piece horn section, making her stage entourage complete.  Because I kept count, I can tell you there was:  a drummer, bass player, guitarist, keyboard player, two background singers, three horn players, and eight ridiculous dancers.

During the next break, the giant video screens started showing shirtless guys showering.  The crowd starting whistling and hollering.  Then the screens went up to reveal her four male dancers, shirtless, underneath stage showers.  They fake showered for a bit, and then they did a bunch of crazy shirtless gymnastic antics before revealing Kylie and her latest costume for the next set of songs.  Costume four:  black rhinestone-laden leotard and black/nude tights. I decided somewhere along the way, and wrote it in my notebook here, that Kylie was honestly having a great time, and wasn’t just faking it.  I can imagine she had some doubt about the reception she might get from American audiences, and the crowd was so audibly appreciative, I think she was sincerely taken aback.

Before I knew it, the set changed again, and this time Kylie was revealed sitting on a giant couch inspired by early Hollywood musicals.  Costume five:  Hollywood musical gown.  Stylish. She sang some slower songs here, and took on the role of a classic film star.  It was pretty classy.  They even dropped paper rose petals as she finished “I Believe in You.”  So where do you go from classy?

Costume six: My fashion knowledge is too limited to know what this is called other than hot black stage lingerie. This next set was the “I’m Kylie Minogue and I’m damned sexy” part.  First off, you’d need to have been sleeping through the show not to notice already that Kylie Minogue is an extremely attractive woman who actually sings live.  This already makes her the sexiest pop star alive.  So when she did the stripper-music version of “Locomotion” including some great “swing your hips now” action, it was just showing off at this point.  When she pulled out the song “Kids,” Robbie Williams did not appear on stage, and his part was played by one of her background singers.  (They left out Robbie’s rap.  It wasn’t missed.)

Finally everyone left the stage.  The crowd went ballistic.  Personally, I both shouted and twittered “Kylie! Kylie! Kylie! Kylie!” She came back out all on her own–no dancers or lasers–and did an energetic version of “Better the Devil You Know” with lots of opportunity for crowd participation.  Costume seven: That shiny black leotard again, but this time with plain black tights. Then she brought back her dancers for a curtain call (they were all wearing “I <3 KM” t-shirts, available at the merch booth) before finishing with “The One” and “Love at First Sight.”

This was easily the best show I’ve seen at The Fox in Oakland, and may be the best for some time.  Kylie Minogue is a great performer, and the entire show is so much bigger than the room, it can blow away anyone who might come into contact with it.  I’m glad to have been there, and I’m glad to be going back tomorrow.  If you’re wavering about paying some ungodly price to go, but it’s actually in your price range, I say take a deep breath and go for it.  You won’t be disappointed.


Enjoy this set list photo from Jon Pirro, who got it from the sound guy:

Completely accurate, unlike other setlists floating around online.

Completely accurate, unlike other setlists floating around online.


We also attended the October 1st show.  Dakin Hardwick’s review is here.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

daveprice October 1, 2009 at 12:13 am

I am still kinda blown away from the show, I think that Kylie is an A+ pop star and can not believe it took her this long to make her way stat side and am honored be be at her very first U.S. show EVER!


patman89 October 1, 2009 at 12:31 am

Were security strict on cameras? I'm seeing her tomorrow…


Gordon Elgart October 1, 2009 at 6:41 am

There were scary signs all about saying “no photography,” but I didn't see any cameras get taken away.


MissNee October 1, 2009 at 9:23 am

There were tons of cameras there and everyone was soooo blatant about using theirs. My friend got tons of good pics and video. as long has you have a non-professional cam(no detachable lenses) and don't use flash, you should be alright.

Enjoy the show cause it really was amazing.

P.S. We stood in line around 5PM and got an amazing spot. I know it's tempting to get right infront of the stage, but if you stand right behind the very first railing back from the stage you'll get a very good view and won't have to worry about people blocking your view.


patman89 October 1, 2009 at 9:46 am

Hey thanks for contacting me, I have a small mini camcorder I want to bring… do they check at the front if you have one? I had a good spot to hid one… in between my legs.

Illuminus October 1, 2009 at 12:46 am

Kylie is not Part of The BORG!!!!!!!


Illuminus October 1, 2009 at 12:48 am

I Mean Kylie Is Now a part of the Borg Lol forgive the Confusion. Kylie Is Borg ,Just Like Beyonce and all those otehr That Follow the BORG


daveprice October 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

WTF is the Borg? Is that some sort
of star trek Reference?


Luke October 1, 2009 at 5:09 am

It's funny when she gets compared to the likes of Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
Do your homework folks…as Beyonce and Lady Gaga certainly did when they ripped off Kylie.
She's been doing these 'looks' for yeeeeeeaaaaarrrrrsssssss…..

Love ya Kylie!


Johnny October 1, 2009 at 9:27 am

It was a combination of the first Showgirl and X2008—just on steroids. There better be a DVD release.


Pablo October 1, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Thank you! finally a true review of the show.


Gordon Elgart October 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm

You're welcome! That's hopefully all you'll ever get here. 😎


Dale October 1, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Thanks Gordon for the great and detailed review of Kylie's first U.S. concert! Here in Melbourne, Australia, we have been waiting to see the reaction from U.S. fans. And I hope there is a DVD release as well! Go you good thing, Kylie!!!

Lachlan October 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Hi Gordon,

Thank you for an accurate review of the show, unlike that bitter *HACK* J Harrington over at Mercury News.

Keep up the good work.

I was there last night and had an absolute blast. Having seen her twice in arena shows before, the privilege of being at her first US show in such a small venue with so many energetic adoring fans was an experience I'll not soon forget!


Brad October 1, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Thanks for putting in the time and energy to review Kylie. AND a setlist too!


Brandon Stoudemire October 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm

I hope this tour will finally make her bigger here in the states. even though this is just one out of nine i hope she will see how much the american fans love her and comes back. i love you kylie hope you have a great time can't wait to see her on the 13th. now that i know its really happening i am so excited im just counting the days.


bkkm October 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I have to tell you that the shows in london were way bigger. but doesnt diminish this show at all, just this show is huge and yet if you saw her in london on the x tour you would die. biggest shows ever. she is fantastic. i loved every show. i saw her 13 times in london, 3 in melbourne, the two usa shows and going to vegas, LA BOWL show and NYC shows. she is puts on the best shows and concerts ever!!!


Clifford Chan October 2, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I've loved some of her tunes and she never came to North America, so before I knew about this NAmerica tour, I hopped on the plane for a 16 hour ride and got a seat in the nose bleed section for a concert on her home turf(or almost). not knowing what to expect. Having seen Madonna, George Michael previous to Kylie this year. I was completely blown away by Kylie's whole show!So naturally I'll see her on this continent.


titaaida October 8, 2009 at 6:23 am

I totally agree on all!!! Kylie has finally arrived…in the USA!


MissNee October 1, 2009 at 10:34 am

They won't pat you down or anything and only will check you if you walk in with a bag. The guy in front of us had a digi cam in his bag and they just asked him to not use it. They weren't mean about it or anything.

Just seeing the sea of cameras last night made me think it would be damn near impossible to keep people from using them especially considering how packed it was in there


daveprice October 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

Yeah, just bring your camera But be respectfull of miss Kylie
and don't use your flash, you'll be a-ok! 🙂


patman89 October 1, 2009 at 10:38 am

Oh okay, just checking because I had a bad experience seeing Britney at the Oracle this year. The security were picking on people with cameras, I guess they had nothing better to do!


Gordon Elgart October 1, 2009 at 10:39 am

Maybe they didn't want any pictures of Britney's lackluster performance escaping into the wild. There are no such worries where Kylie is concerned.


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