Last Night: Sia at the Granada Theater

Granada Theater
August 7, 2011

Better than: watching someone with a gift trying to make it seem like work.

I don't know if Sia has been bestowed the nickname "The Voice."  She ought to, though. 

She certainly earned that title last night, performing before a sold out show at the Granada. And even as a long-time fan of Sia Furlers, it was quite easy to be taken aback by the adoration this crowd showed the singer.

Starting her set shortly after 10 p.m., Sia opened her set with "The Fight," the opening song of 2010's We Are Born. Walking about a stage (including all amps and monitors) blanketed in crocheted rugs, Sia was wearing something that called to mind a black Balkan peasant dress. Her four-piece backing band's members each wore a kind of whimsical dreamland jump suit, stitched together from odd remnants. 

The whole effect was called to mind a girl's bedroom, with Sia a doll come to life.

And that voice. A pixie of a girl, Furler conjured up a massive voice without effort, calling to mind her friend and sometime employer Christina Aguilera. But while Aguilera peacocks around the stage, imploring the audience to take note, Sia moved hardly a muscle and barely broke a sweat through her 80-minute set. 

The set drew deeply from both We Are Born and 2008's Some People Have Real Problems. It's hard to say what the high points were for the audience; every song drew enormous applause, with Sia seemingly delighted and a bit startled by every response,sharing a grin as big as her voice. 

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There was not a whole lot of chatter between songs until after "I Go To Sleep," five songs into the set, at which point she paused the music and said, "Let's have a chat." Acknowledging some of the kids in the audience and a small but "adult-esque" audience member claiming to be a kid, Sia offered a brief spell of interaction before getting back to the business at hand, launching in to "Cloud."

After the main set ended with "Death By Chocolate," the audience roared a roar seldom heard at the Granada, and nobody headed for the door. After a very short break and with a greeting of "Surprise, we came back!" the bandtwo-song encore started with "Clap Your Hands." And with the opening piano notes of the tune everyone was waiting to hear -- "Breathe Me" -- the already ecstatic audience became amped-up even more.

Two forces of nature -- singer and audience -- came together and appreciated each other's company for while on this night.

It was beautiful.

Critics Notebook

Personal Bias: Listen, I'm a fan. I get the fact that Sia has a great voice and writes really good songs. But when the show sold out, I was a little surprised. And while the audience was skewed toward female, it was far more diverse than I expected.

Random Note: Sia's songs clearly mean a lot to her fans. The start of each song caused some significant, but varying, portion of the audience to burst into applause. 

Set List:
The Fight 
Oh Father
Be Good to Me
I Go to Sleep
Big Girl Little Girl
You Have Been Loved
I'm In Here
You've Changed
Soon We'll Be Found
Never Gonna Leave Me
Death By Chocolate

Clap Your Hands
Breathe Me

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