“I don’t want to piss in your pocket,” Sia Furler, better known as simply Sia, laughed on Thursday night, as she took time out on stage at Manhattan’s Terminal 5 to go through the gifts and love letters her devoted fans had brought for her, ranging from toys for her pooches, Pantera and Lick-Lick, to a giant Hershey bar, warm and melting, that she suggested had perhaps been down someone’s pants.
The 34-year-old Aussie singer-songwriter, now living in New York, after stints in London & LA, is well known for her work with Zero 7 (Garden State’s In The Waiting Line ring any bells?) plus three previous solo records. Currently on tour to promote her forthcoming release, We Are Born (out June 7 on Monkey Puzzle), her fourth studio album has gone from down tempo gloom to buoyant disco-pop.
This time round Sia included new numbers (the best among them Clap Your Hands, The Co-Dependent and You’ve Changed) as well as timeless tracks from her back catalogue (think Buttons, Breathe Me and Little Black Sandals) in the 17-song-long set list.
The atmosphere on stage (transformed into a striped and knitted wonderland for its fairy princess) was upbeat between songs as she giggled, bantered with the crowd and horsed around with her five bandmates, who were as relaxed as Sia. (Drummer Felix performed an impromptu jig on his way offstage to grab a beer.)
Sia’s relationship with her fans isn’t restricted to gifts: last night the blond-bobbed singer wore a candy-striper-like dress designed by one of them. The red and white plastic tendrils wafted about her body as she sang into a mic that, with its knitted cover, resembled an ice cream cone.
Those fans sure are eclectic, running the gamut from Front Row Guy, who mouthed every lyric back at Sia to Tall Man in a Yankees Cap, who avidly video taped every moment, via black, white, tall, short, girl, boy, straight, gay, not-entirely-sure. Refreshing and unusual.
When Sia sings, she rocks back and forth behind the mic, making faces now and again as she lets her lungs rip. It’s a powerful, spirit-lifting performance that sees her move effortlessly from full-throttle dance mode straight into an emotional nosedive as her poignant lyrics, backed by piano and strings, strike straight at the heart.
If ever she were on her way to increasingly commercial success, now would be it. Put your hands together…
By NELL ALK
Sia on MySpace: www.myspace.com/siamusic
Sia official site: www.siamusic.net