Four albums and 11 years in, Scissor Sisters are at the peak of their musical and physical powers.
Kicking off with a pitch-perfect, high-energy performance of Any Which Way, the opening number set the tone for a solid evening's performance in which the band gave their all. Not bad for a Wednesday night.
The Sisters' frontpeople Jake Shears and Ana Matronic took turns in the spotlight through a well-chosen setlist that ensured plenty of variety and that the physical energy could be sustained throughout the night. Ana revelled in her role as audience wrangler, warming up the crowd and encouraging them to stand on their seats and remove any clothing that might be causing discomfort.
Which brings us to the most unusual part of the show - the venue. Recently renovated Hamer Hall is arguably Melbourne's finest performance venue - certainly 'the classiest place we've ever played', as a slightly bemused Jake Shears said. It seemed an unlikely choice for a Scissor Sisters show and, frankly, still does. The characteristic Sisters crowd seemed hesitant at first but soon got comfortable once Ana said 'if anyone who works here has a problem, they can speak to me after'. I watched the venue staff go into a little huddle up the back wondering what to do. They'd long since given up on trying to stop people from taking photos, and all two of the security men were up the front near the stage. As it turned out, the gentleman in front of me had quite a bit of clothing that was causing him discomfort. I'm not sure the ushers have ever had to deal with that problem before.
In the end, everybody just decided to go with it. The instant classic Let's Have a Kiki went down a treat, as did most of the material from the new album, which is a richer and more varied collection than previous offerings, but nothing could beat old favourites Take Your Mama and I Don't Feel Like Dancin', which drew the most energy from the crowd.
Scissor Sisters are a band that is at their best live, where their musical skill is superb and their songs are embellished by relaxed but tightly choreographed performance. Bold, brash and confidently sexual, the Sisters are always a welcome visitor to Melbourne. May we see them again soon.
Arts Centre Melbourne presents
Magic Hour Australian Tour
Date: Wed 26 Sep, 8:00pm
Venue: The Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Southbank
More info: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au