Kate Bush

Review Round-Up: Kate Bush's triumphant stage return after 35 years

One show down, 22 to go. Will a US run be next?

It’s been 35 years since British songstress/icon/muse Kate Bush has performed live so her Aug. 26 return was highly anticipated and, according to some reviews, the show surpassed the almost impossibly high expectations fans and critics had placed on it.

Bush, who draws a Stevie Nicks-like devotion among her followers,  sold out 22 shows at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 15 minutes when the “Before The Dawn” shows were announced several months ago. The notoriously performance shy Bush had last played the venue for three shows in 1979.The show sounds like an artistic spectacle with all her theatrical elements still in the forefront. Bush divided the concert into three parts: the first segment was a range of songs from her catalog, the second portion was The Ninth Wave- the back half of 1985’s “Hounds Of Love” album- while the third act was the second half of 2005’s “Aerial.” In other words, if you were looking for a hits-packed show —or anything from her 1978 U.S. breakthrough, “The Kick Inside,”  you were out of luck.

David Bowie, Madonna, Lily Allen, and Bjork were among the artists reported to be in the audience for opening night.

Here is a sampling of what the critics said. Maybe the glowing reviews and audience reception will lead her to a similar U.S. run.

New York Times: “Before the Dawn” is light and film and movement and theater, but also a rock show, dense, cathartic and physical. The audience, still as stones during the music, stood to cheer whenever tiny between-song intervals allowed. After the full-band final encore, “Cloudbusting,” it would not leave until the tech crew arrived to dismantle the stage. “Thank you so much for such a wonderful, warm and positive response,” Ms. Bush said, with remarkable composure. She’s going to do this 21 more times?

The Independent: Accompanied by music ranging from polyphonic choral harmonies to folksy minstrels,  [the show is] quite stunning, undoubtedly the most ambitious, and genuinely moving, piece of theatrical pop ever seen on a British stage. Which is just what everyone here tonight was hoping for.

Billboard: Thirty-five years after making her last live performance, Kate Bush finally delivered what many of her fans thought they would never get to see: a triumphant, hit-filled and characteristically theatrical return to the stage….Onstage, Bush appeared to be enjoying herself hugely, displaying none of the nerves or apprehension you would expect of someone who hadn’t performed live in over three decades…The show ended with a majestic, muscular run through “Cloudbursting” and, in turn, the final standing ovation of the evening. Nearly ten minutes after Bush and her band had departed the stage, the audience was still on its feet in noisy appreciation.

The Guardian: For huge sections of the performance, Bush's movements look heavily choreographed: she moves with a lithe grace, clearly still drawing on the mime training she underwent as a teenager forty years on. Her voice too is in remarkable condition: she's note-perfect throughout. Backed by a band of musicians capable of navigating the endless twists and turns of her songwriting – from funk to folk to pastoral prog rock - the performances of Running Up That Hill and King of the Mountain sound almost identical to their recorded versions - but letting rip during a version of Top of the City, she sounds flatly incredible…For someone who's spent the vast majority of her career shunning the stage, she's a hugely engaging live performer, confident enough to shun the hits that made her famous in the first place: she plays nothing from her first four albums.

The Telegraph: Bush boldly strode out in front of her band and backing singers in bare feet and an extravagantly tassled jacket that made her look like a cross between Loretta Lynn and Sandie Shaw. There was something touchingly gauche and bashful about her as she awkwardly twirled around the stage. Yet while her stage craft might have been creaky, her voice was an undiminished roar, surprisingly rich and powerful after such a long break…Throughout, the pace was resolutely mid-tempo,the narratives sometimes obscure and the skits often hammy - in one artists ' scene from the Aerial segment, literally as exciting as watching paint dry...But nonetheless there was something thrilling about seeing the often bonkers but still delightful imagination of Bush run free after all this time, apparently untouched by the frenetic pace of the digital world.

BBC: Bush may not be the energetic 20-year-old who last performed on the same stage in 1979, but the 56-year-old singer has retained the power to entrance her audience. Among the cheers, some were moved to tears at this most unpredictable of comebacks. After the three-hour show, thousands spilled out into a damp London night knowing they had witnessed something unique. It's likely that many will wake next morning feeling they have been not only to a gig, but squeezed in a trip to the cinema and the theatre as well.

Bush asked that fans not take photos or video, but, of course, someone did (and we're kind of glad).

 

 

 

 

Nicole Scherzinger

Listen to Nicole Scherzinger's latest tune, 'On The Rocks'

Will the ex-Pussycat Doll finally achieve solo success in the U.S.?

Though her solo career has yielded no major success in the U.S. yet, former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger keeps knocking at the door waiting for her solo breakthrough. Her latest attempt, “On The Rocks,” is a mid-to-uptempo number about a break-up served “on the rocks.” The production is slightly dated, which may hamper its chances at radio in the U.S. However, in the U.K., the former "X Factor" judge is coming off a No. 6 hit with “Your Love” earlier this summer. No word on when her Epic Records release will come out in the state.

Stevie Nicks

Listen to Stevie Nicks' wistful new tune, 'Lady'

Second tune from new set, '24 Karat Gold,' surfaces

Lady,” the latest song from Stevie Nicks’ forthcoming “24 Karat Gold — Songs From the Vault,” is classic Nicks.

The spare piano ballad features the Fleetwood Mac singer questioning her future with her man. “I’m tired of knocking on doors and there’s nobody there,” she sings. Though she expresses uncertainty about what’s to come, her lover reassures her. “I’m unsure, I can’t see my way/And he says, ‘Lady, you don’t have to see.”

The song is the second from “24 Karat Gold” to be released in advance of the album’s Oct. 7 album following the more upbeat “The Dealer.”  The album contains previously unreleased songs written by Nicks between 1969 and 1995.

 

 

Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea joins Jennifer Lopez on shaking 'Booty' remix: Listen

Two booties are better than one, right?

As we continue to celebrate the female form via songs like Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,”  Iggy Azalea is now weighing in on a remix of Jennifer Lopez’s Latin beat-infused “Booty.”

The remix is largely the same as the original song with the insinuating beat as Lopez recommends giving your man what he wants on his birthday—your booty.  Azalea comes in around the 2-minute mark with a 30-second rap declaring  “The last time the world saw a booty this good, it was on Jenny on the Block.” Remember to raise your hands if you like a big booty…

Lopez and Azalea have a growing friendship: They’ve performed together in Chicago, and Lopez taped an episode of MTV’s rejuvenated “House Of Style,” now hosted by Azalea.

"Booty" is on Lopez's current album, "A.K.A."

Charli XCX

Charli XCX plays naughty school girl in 'Break The Rules' video

Break out your best lingerie, we're skipping school today...

With “Break The Rules,” Charli XCX  gets closer and closer to becoming the star of her own show instead of high wattage guest star on songs by acts like Iggy Azalea and Icona Pop.

The British pop singer may be 22 and years past graduation, but she is aiming the video for “Break The Rules” straight at the naughty high school girl set with an anthem about skipping school and instead, “getting high and getting wrecked.”

She plans to accomplish this by going to Trashy Lingerie and sampling a variety of outfits, wearing a fantasy school girl outfit , dancing on top of a school bus like she’s straight out of a ‘90s Aerosmith video, and flaunting her rebellion in school dance chaperone Rose McGowan’s face.

As with so many clips, it’s more of a fashion show than a video, but it gives Charli XCX plenty of face (and body) time so we can start to pick her out in a crowd.

Charli XCX’s new album, “Sucker,” comes out Oct. 21 and is her first since last year’s “True Romance." "Sucker's" first single, "Boom Clap," peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

 

Katy Perry, Britney Spears

Britney Spears on Katy Perry's VMA demin outfit tribute

How did we go from Woody Woodpecker to this?

Britney Spears was noticeably absent from Sunday (24) night’s MTV Video Music Awards, but one of her most famous fashion statements was not.

Responding to a dare in a way that Spears could not have possibly imagined, Katy Perry replicated Spears and Justin Timberlake’s regrettable matching denim outfits from the 2001 American Music Awards.

It all started Friday when Spears’ tweeted that she sometimes did impressions, and linked to an Instagram video of her doing a funny Woody Woodpecker. Perry responded and a few tweets later, Spears challenged Perry to do her best imitation within 24 hours. Perry said she would do her best impression on the VMA red carpet, but there’s no way that Spears could have expected what Perry did.

Though it seems impossible, Perry’s version of the denim formal was even tackier than Spears’, with its patchwork of light and dark denim and rhinestoned bodice. Plus, Riff Raff, who filled in for Timberlake, was completely blinged out in blinding fashion from his grill to his toes. Wrote Perry of her outfit:

Spears wholeheartedly approved of the homage, tweeting at midnight, “Just when I thought the denim dress had retired…you bring it back! You looked amazing tonight bb:; )”

 

Please done let this become a challenge, like the ALS ice bucket challenge.  Can we now please let the denim rest in peace?

 

Usher

Usher dances through 'She Came To Give It To You' with Nicki Minaj at MTV VMAs

Ush also teases the official video for the song

Even though he was only up for one Video Music Award (for choreography for “Good Kisser”), Usher still showed up to perform his tune, “She Came To Give It To You,” featuring Nicki Minaj.

In a highly choreographed — and entertaining— performance, Usher surrounded himself with a phalanx of dancers and a full band for the vibrant performance. Minaj, who suffered a wardrobe malfunction earlier in the night, joined the ensemble, similarly clad in all white, midway through, as Usher jammed on bass.

Check out the energetic performance below, as well as a teaser for the official video for “She Came To Give It To You,” which Usher debuted Sunday night as well.

 

Get More: Usher,Usher videos
Sam Smith

Sam Smith enchants with 'Stay With Me' at MTV VMAs: Watch

He doesn't need pyro and back-up dancers

In a show filled with big production numbers, Sam Smith let his voice be the main attraction during his stirring performance of his breakthrough hit, “Stay With Me” at the MTV VMAs

Standing still at the microphone and accompanied only by a keyboardist, Smith drew a standing ovation from the audience, including the all-important Kardashian clan.

Smith was up for two awards: best male video and artist to watch, but went home empty handed. However, he had Twitter to keep him warm, at the site blew up with praise for his spare performance, with some tweeted that he reminded them of Adele.

Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora draw you into their spiderweb with 'Black Widow at MTV VMAs

They cast a web of deceit

Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora turned the MTV VMA stage into one big spiderweb Sunday night as the pair performed their fast-rising hit, “Black Widow.”

Both performers were clad in black bodysuits with spiderweb designs as they sung the tale of a spurned lover out for revenge.

It was an otherwise bleak night for Azalea. The Australian rapper, along with Beyonce, led all nominees with eight nods. However, she went home with only one: best pop video for “Problem” by Ariana Grande, featuring Azalea.

 

http://ti.me/1ALRDJV

Beyonce gives epic performance at MTV VMAs: Watch

Beyonce gives epic performance at MTV VMAs: Watch

Blue Ivy wins the award for most adorable at the ceremony

Though Beyonce took home the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Award for her overall body of work, for her 17-minute plus (!!) performance, she focused on a medley from “Beyonce,” the album she dropped without warning last December.

It was a compelling performance as she captivated the audience as she ran through selection after selection, including “Drunk In Love,” “No Angel,” and “Haunted,”   from the chart topper, often accompanied by background dancers, and other times, such as during “Partition,” adopting poses from the videos for the album. For “Flawless,” she included the “billion dollar elevator” line from the recently released remix. As she performed, the cameras frequently panned to hubby Jay Z, holding their daughter Blue Ivy, looking adoringly at his wife.

The pair joined Beyonce to present the award, “I feel so much gratitude, I thank God for this moment,” she said, before referring to Jay Z as “my beloved.” (so much for those divorce rumors).

Beyonce and Iggy Azalea led all nominees with eight nods each. While Beyonce was bested in several categories, she did snag awards for best collaboration (“Drunk In Love”), best video with a social message (“Pretty Hurts”) and best cinematography (“Pretty Hurts”)