Sia kicked off an Australian tour last night at AAMI Stadium in Melbourne, but the unconventional show left her fans debating over whether they got what they paid for.
Sia has always been just that -unconventional. In a culture that breeds both obsession with and entitlement to every detail of celebrity’s lives, the pop star goes out of her way to stay private, letting the focus remain on her songwriting and vocals. In fact, it may be her privacy for which she is most well known, donning a signature oversized wig that covers her face during live appearances and performances.
Arguably, Sia has not always been so reserved. While she has always been committed to the visual aspect of her art and creating a holistic, theatrical performance that isn’t “just a song”, her previous performances have been more interactive. In the early 2010’s, though, Sia halted all scheduled events and shows due to her health. She was open about her mental health and addiction issues, and announced she would potentially retire from singing altogether and focus on songwriting (she’s written for almost every pop star you can think of, from Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera to Rihanna and Beyoncé), but compromised with a balance of continuing to sing her own music but staying as low-profile as possible.
Despite this notorious reservedness, some fans were surprised at just how absent from the spotlight she was at her own concert. Attendees say that the main spectacle of the show was prerecorded sound and video on projectors, and that the stage was dominated by young dancer Maddie Ziegler, who rose to fame on Lifetime’s reality show “Dance Moms” and shortly after, was recruited by Sia to star in her music videos and now, on her tour. Fans say Sia stood towards the back and to the side of the stage, in an unlit area.
Was sia even at her own concert last night like, honestly ?
— Lauren ? (@cellblockgrimes) December 1, 2017
Sia's concert is like watching it on DVD with several thousand other people. No connection with the audience, so tightly scripted and rehearsed. Not sure what is real and what is pre-recorded during the songs
— Angry truth tiger? (@blue_bec) November 30, 2017
And I believe fans shouldn't have to pay $180 to see you perform with a stupid wig on from the back corner of a stage!
Worst concert I've ever been too
— Jordan Barr (@jordo83) December 1, 2017
I actually loved the @sia concert last night. I'd watched enough Youtube to know how she performs. She did a few moments of interactions which were appreciated. The whole experience was phenomenal and her vocals so much better in person. And I was sitting at the back!
— Jade Craven (@jadecraven) December 1, 2017
I said it before and I'll say it again: Those people aren't 'fans'. Fans know exactly what you get when you go to a sia concert. The dancers are the experience. They act out the music and the emotion. Sia doesn't want fame. Maybe check what an artist does before you buy a ticket? https://t.co/pSsPmKdZa7
— L (@bloodyfools) December 1, 2017
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 I was moved to tears by your beautiful Concert in Melbourne. Thank you so much for your vulnerability, talent, and strength. You are wonderful ?
— Jesse (@nerdburger1995) December 1, 2017
Sia performs again tomorrow night, December 2 at Allianz Stadium in Sydney and finishes the tour on December 5 at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.