Concert Review: Sia’s ‘Nostalgic For The Present’ tour conquers Oracle Arena

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2014 file photo, singer Sia Furler attends the world premiere of "Annie" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2014 file photo, singer Sia Furler attends the world premiere of "Annie" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(KRON) Sia, the Australian, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter made Oakland the second stop of her highly praised ‘Nostalgic For The Present’ tour where she brought along LA’s crooner Miguel. The magnificent theatrical production had concert-goers in awe with just how beautiful, though rather short (roughly an hour and fifteen minutes,) and visually delightful the concert was.

Throughout the show, Sia stood on the left corner of the stage, clear of elaborate props featuring only a simple white square placed in the middle of the empty stage. Sia came out in her signature black and blonde wig which covered nearly half of her face, embellished with a giant white bow. From behind the mic, all that was seen of Sia were her bold red lips, from which her powerful vocals transported us to a magical musical realm.

As Sia’s silhouette was illuminated, a huge ruffled, white skirt peeped through, and from there, to the tune of “Alive,” dancer Maddie Ziegler emerged onto the stage to accompany Sia on this music adventure. Maddie is best known for appearing on the show “Dance Moms” but has now become a more permanent figure in much of what Sia does, including starring in five of her music videos — quite the catalog for a 14-year old.

What followed after the show began was much more a perfectly orchestrated performance art show than your average “pop concert.” To completely take in just how memorable this night was, you had to have been sitting floor level and most certainly within the first few rows. Those who were seated in the side sections could not fully appreciate the production.

Each song simulated a different story through the dancers, who made sure to keep the focus on themselves. One blink and you missed a crucial part of each montage. However, it was not just what was on stage that mesmerized the crowd. There were two giant screens (one one each side of the stage) that featured a pre-recorded vignette of each song as it was happening on stage, with cameos of SNL alum Kristen Wiig, with the song “One Million Bullets” from Sia’s latest album, This Is Acting. Actor Paul Dano also played a brilliant part in the video montage with the song “Bird Set Free.” “And I don’t care if I sing off key/I find myself in my melodies/I sing for love, I sing for me/I shout it out like a bird set free.” With the song “Titanium,” the entire arena erupted into singing, and one by one, each person turned on their phone flashlights to light up the stands, as Sia belted out the melody with her impressive vocals. A fan favorite of the night was when she performed the song “Breathe Me,” off 2004’s album Colour The Small One.

Sia also performed some of her upbeat songs like “Cheap Thrills,” “Diamonds” (written by her, recorded by Rihanna), “Chandelier” and “Unstoppable.” Other honorable mentions go to “Fire Meet Gasoline” and “Elastic Heart.” Her encore was her latest single “The Greatest” featuring Grammy-winning artist Kendrick Lamar.

Sia has Miguel opening each tour date, and his performance in Oakland did not disappoint. His hour-long set included songs such as “Simple Things,” “Sure Thing” and “Coffee.” Before performing the song “Sweet California,” Miguel addressed the crowd and spoke of the importance of making our voices heard come November 8th. He talked about being bi-racial — his father is Mexican, and his mother is black.

If you have not seen either of these successful artists on tour, this is your opportunity. The ‘Nostalgic For The Present’ tour continues throughout the United States and Canada until November 6.

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