Sia, Paradise Rock Club, November 7, 2007
The sold-out crowd that drowned out the lilting pop of LA’s Willoughby grew even noisier as the blacklights came on, reducing the room to a sea of eerie Cheshire smiles and visibly linty sweaters. A pink banner sporting a jagged rainbow hung over the stage, which was littered with stuffed animals and tubular lights bent into massive crude flowers. Sia Furler and her bandmates soon bounced into view, invisible but for messily applied strips of neon tape: “We are stick people! And we are in the business of entertainment!”
Despite the presentation’s being a bit Mummenschanz-meets-MS-Paint at the Paradise a week ago Wednesday, and despite the pervasive hyperjuvenilia that is characterizing Sia’s third re-emergence as a solo artist (from her sudden penchant for giddy up-tempo numbers to the fluorescent T-shirts at her merch table), it’s damn near impossible to package her voice as anything other than mature, fully realized fire-and-ice soul. Opener “Buttons” came off like a shiny new Squeeze song (I was surprised at how fine I was with it) — and the goofy outfits came off too. Other forays into jauntier pop were well balanced by heaps of slow soarers like “Lentil” and “You Have Been Loved” — both expansive enough to accommodate Furler’s many fluttering figures and curlicues.
After handing out a half-dozen erotic cupcakes, rhapsodizing over her dinner at Craigie Street Bistrot, and encouraging unchecked piracy of her album (“It’s out there, go get it”), Furler sang “Destiny” (an old hit by Zero 7, her former musical home) and indulged the horde of Six Feet Under fans with the single, “Breathe Me” — which some kid demanded she play again. These days, with Regina and Joanna and Feist holding court, there’s no shortage of girls who sing as if they’d had a live pigeon and a glass of milk for lunch. But Furler’s got chops to rival her many idiosyncrasies, and by now she shouldn’t have to haul a toy store on stage to get noticed.
: Live Reviews
, Sia Furler, Zero 7, SIA, More