Kiesza at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
It’s an emotional return to London for Kiesza. She’s clearly quite overwhelmed as she tells us that London was where things took off for her, and that there’s a gluten-free crepe place round the corner that she highly recommends. Wearing some kind of armour-like body suit that can only be described as hugely unflattering, she manages to look incredible. There’s a lot of power in this small woman, not to mention an impressive vocal range, and the audience reacts enthusiastically to her energy.
The set is pulled from her album The Sound of a Woman, which is “musically schizophrenic” in Kiesza’s own words, covering synth-pop, R&B and ballads. The set starts up-tempo with The Love and No Enemiesz, slows down in the middle and brings the audience to its feet for the last few tracks, ending with Hideaway.
Everything about the night is perfectly timed and organised. Kiesza gets some ballads in without boring the audience, spontaneously asks pals she’s noticed in the audience to come and dance with her, and introduces us to every member of her team (even the stage manager “who’s just had a baby everyone! Congratulations!”). The choreography is excellent; two dungaree-clad (and utterly fantastic) dancers lend the performance the feeling of a few pals at a party that everyone wants to be invited to.
The album itself is so strongly rooted in the musical traditions of the 80s and 90s that it already sounds familiar, a suspicion that is confirmed by her cover of Haddaway’s What Is Love. The beats, dance routines and heavy use of synth evoke the double denim, fringed suede and excellent hairdos that made those decades what they were.
Whatever you think of Kiesza’s brand of glam-synth-pop, there’s no denying that her energy on-stage is infectious. As the best performers do, she whips the audience into an excitable frenzy while creating the illusion that if it weren’t for the stage security, you’d be bumping and grinding up there with her.
For further information about Kiesza and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Giant in My Heart here: