Monday, May 11, 2009

Wisdom the PCD way

This was a review of The Pussycat Dolls first concert in Dublin. While looking for a photo on The Pussycat Dolls concert, I felt I couldn't use a full group photo, the reason being was that Kimberly was at home sick. So instead we had just five Pussycats on stage and the group member who I would love most would be Carmit. The show was led for the most part by Nicole. She is the main vocalist in the group and several times she sang on her own while the four other Pussycats sat behind stage in the wings. At one point she sang Feelin' Good, performed acapella and was completely spellbinding. Holding up the microphone like a light in the dark she recreates the Nina Simone song and there is only the Nicole version that you think of. She also sings How Many Times, How Many Lies on her own and introduces I Don't Need a Man as a song she wrote, almost saying, "I don't just sing and dance!" While Nicole's solos were gorgeous, I much preferred when all 5 of the group was on stage together. Each has their own personality, completely aware of their audience and with a genuine appreciation of their moment in the pop spotlight. The opening song would be one of their biggest hits, Buttonz, which was their fourth single. To start with, it is a wonderful song and dance routine. But then the song itself literally exploded, pillars of flame burst out behind the main stage and you hope to God that Jessica and Ashley didn't go too mad on the hairspray. Buttonz then morphs into a loud and dancetastic remix version, their choreography too quickens in pace, all arms and workout crazed style. It was a memorable opening setpiece. What was interesting is that Buttonz is followed by Beep, the only time bar a mash up of My Humps that I have liked The Black Eyed Peas, in the form of Will.I.Am. Stick with u follows a bit later and even a bit of Don't cha. "No girls! too many hits too soon!" I thought. But no, the whole show would be a success from beginning to end. There is no encore and strangly no loud demand for one because they give it their 100% throughout. I will never forget seeing Kylie's "Showgirl" tour and Madonna in Slane but this was one of the best pop concerts I have ever seen. It is obvious that the tour is centred around Nicole's future solo career but if this tour is anyone's moment for me it was Carmit's. After 12 years in the group Carmit is at 32, one of the oldest people in the concert hall that evening which made me feel a bit better! To emphasise their individuality they each thank the audience seperately. Step forward a bit of PCD wisdom. While I don't quite agree with Nicole stating that Don't cha is "a female anthem": (I am much hotter than your dowdy girlfriend, boy, so dump that bitch!), I was instead more impressed when Ashley's "live your dreams!" speech used the words "Get an education". The audience were mostly girls of a certain age who looked like they were actually at the Sluttiest Child awards but the "better yourself" was the best pop wisdom I have heard from the stage in a long time. On Carmit's turn she spoke of her Cleft Palate which she seemed to do a lot of work in the area of raising self esteem for people who have it. I didn't even know what it was until my friend told me about it in the queue outside earlier that evening. Carmit then said celebrate being different. A gay heart beat in the darkness. None of this stopped Carmit looking like Xena dressed as a hooker in Space. That's why we love her. Despite being 97% female, 1% boyfriends or dads and 2% men who like men and pop, Nicole and co annoyingly referred just to the girls in the audience. Talk about making a boy feel different. When at Christina last November a "not exactly beaten with the ugly stick" straight guy was taken out of the audience, strapped to a revolving wheel and womanhandled by Christina and her minxy dancers. It was more embarrassing than interesting. Three much younger people were ushered onto the stage at the Pussycat Dolls show. Thankfully the same routine wasn't repeated or social services would have been outside in the carpark. The selected three, at first, looked like Christans being led into the lions in "Gladiator". Instead they had to dance in front of the thousands who whooped and cheered for Ireland. It was a sweet, uplifting moment. How I wished to have that confidence at 16! Or even 26! As the three weren't exactly shite dancers my friend figured a local dance school had received a call in advance. One of the three was a joyous guy, he seemed the type who had gone to the concert with his girl friends more so than his girlfriend. He was hero of the moment doing the dance routine of his life, so far. Assuming he was indeed a friend of all that is glittery, he was for his 2 minutes of fame, a little celebrity, hugging a bemused Nicole on his way out. And that to me is what pop is all about. I hate the word fun. It is too simplistic. It is a tag. But this concert was that word. One factor that I really liked is that they had no male backing dancers. Just themselves. Even Madonna, Kylie, Dannii rarely perform without the token straight looking male dancers. My inner feminist dies a death at a concert like The Pussycat Dolls but this male free stage was a little bit of power by girls. Please Pussycats, don't break up yet, even with your revolving door policy. Nicole you're fab, hold on another while for a solo career, your girls, especially Carmit need you. Make a fab second album. Your fans deserve it.

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