The name of Kylie Minogue's latest tour fits like a famously snug pair of vintage gold lamé hot pants.
The Golden Tour.
It's Minogue's 15th concert tour but her first in an outdoor arena as the headline act. And, true to form, everything she touches still turns to gold. Her A Day On The Green concert at Bimbadgen in the Hunter Valley is a sell-out: one of many on this tour.
The Golden Tour marks her first shows since 2015’s Kiss Me Once Tour. The set list is based on a narrative connecting all of Minogue's hits into one glorious story. Tracks from Golden, like Dancing and Stop Me From Falling, fit seamlessly alongside pop classics including Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Spinning Around, The Loco-Motion and Love At First Sight.
She is joined on tour by Jake Shears, of Scissor Sisters fame, and Australian singer-songwriter Hatchie.
Minogue has been quite the social (media) butterfly since landing on home soil for this tour. She's been photographed, frocked up, at Bondi Icebergs. She was belle of the ball at Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. She paid her respects to murdered Pelligrini's cafe owner Sisto Malaspina in her home town of Melbourne.
Quite simply, Minogue can't put a well-heeled foot wrong.
She may be Australia's own Pop Princess, our Golden Girl, but she is also one of us. The 50-year-old has had her fair share of failed relationships. She has overcome breast cancer. She has a sense of humour. She's intelligent. She's vulnerable.
Minogue started her career on Neighbours as mechanic Charlene Mitchell, the girl next door. And even though she went on to achieve worldwide success as a singer, actor and performer, she is still that girl we watched grow up in the public eye.
Her appearance, too, remains youthful. (Did she sneakily jump into that pool in 1985 sci-fi Cocoon?) Every one of her many career-driven image changes has been timely and applauded.
The Sydney Morning Herald ran a story about 21-year-old Minogue in 1989: "It might be hard for most Aussies to imagine little Charlene from Neighbours as a superstar performer. But with a new record and a new film, this 21-year-old is growing up fast … To many industry and interested observers, she's a new Madonna in the making."
Today, after 30 years in the industry, she remains a marketable commodity. Her latest album Golden topped the charts in Australia and the UK. She even went toe-to-to in the courts with billionaire businesswoman Kylie Jenner over the "Kylie" trademark name in 2014 - and won. Not bad for a performer once dubbed "the singing budgie".
On turning 50 last year, she told The Sydney Morning Herald: "I am very aware and thankful that this is a good time in my life. I know I have worked for it and I have paid for it and so I am enjoying it, between my schedules and trying to take care of myself as well.
"I don't know if it is the 50 thing, it probably has a lot to do with it, but life is maybe slowing down, which sounds ridiculous because there is still so much going on, but it's happening at a slightly different pace, and a different head space, and a different understanding. I haven't quite figured out how to exactly express it yet, but what is apparent is that people can see it and I know it's happening. I feel good and thankful."
- Kylie Minogue's The Golden Tour concert at Bimbadgen tonight is a sell out. Gates open at 3pm. Hatchie takes to the stage at 5.45pm, followed by Jake Shears at 6.45pm and Minogue at 8pm. Umbrellas and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are not permitted. The exception is sealed (clear) plastic bottled water up to 1.25 litres. Large backpacks and eskies over 26 litres are prohibited.