Arts Desk

Hit Machine: Last Night’s Sia Show at 9:30 Club


Sia performed to a sold out 9:30 Club last night, and she put on quite the show. Much like Joss Stone, her voice simply does not sound like it's of her body: She's an Australian woman who wears her own crafts and has blond cropped hair, but her voice has a soulful, sometimes ragged quality–it sounds like she's seen some shit.

The music wasn't the only draw to Sia's show. She knows how to work a crowd–she interacted with individuals in the audience throughout the night, and she frequently accepted presents and notes. She apologized for the exchanges, saying, "Sorry if it's alienating, but it's the only part of my day that's different when I'm on tour, the audience that I perform to." But the effect was anything but–she fostered a sense of intimacy and connection with the crowd. Below are some of the top moments from last night's show:

Sia hits the stage wearing a headpiece that appears to have an electric feather on it. She performs her first song, after which a roadie removes it from her head. Her first words to the audience are, "That's my head penis!"

She accepts a few headpieces from audience members, and reflects on some of the gifts she's received in the past. "The weirdest present I got was a prosthetic leg. When I got it, I was like, 'Oh my god, this must be like $7,000. She's like, '$15,000!' I was like, um, you should really keep this." [She hops on one leg, imitating the girl who gave her the leg.]

"One guy in San Francisco gave me his pants; no, actually two guys gave me their pants. They stood through the whole show in their undies." After about a song, Sia receives a pair of pants. "Look at this! This guy's just standing there in his jocks." She fashions a scarf out of the pants, performs a song with them on, then gives them back.


Sia and her band spent five hours at Tyson's Corner on Monday, which she deemed home to "designer stores" and "rich people."

She accepts a manila envelope with a variety of items, including condoms. Then she pulls something else out. "Ooh, is this a toy for the dog? Or a toy for me? I always get confused."

A girl in the audience wants to give Sia her bracelet in exchange for her dress, which appears to have been crafted out of long strips of plastic bag. "My dress didn't used to have sleeves but it does now because of the chubbers," she says, referring to her upper arms.

She talks about the band's activities in DC the previous day. "We were staying at this place where all the rich people live. It starts with a 't' and it's two words." Audience members yell out to her. "Yes, that's it! Tyson's Corner."

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  • naruhodoDK

    Nice article, you captured most of the wonderful moments of the performance :)

    One nitpick; I was the one that gave her the manilla envelope, and it actually had a packet of lube (with aloe vera!), not condoms.

    Most of my pics turned out regrettably blurry, but I managed to take a tolerable snapshot of her wonderful bubble-producing wings from the end of the show:

  • Erin Petty

    Thanks for the clarification! Very cool to get a response from one of the gift-givers themselves.

  • Paul Hays

    And what about the beautiful songs, excellent band, and fantastic arrangements?

    You've focussed too much on the audience interaction and schtick. The highlight for me was the music. Her songs should be modern day classics, but remarkably they aren't ... yet. Her performance of "Lentil" was one of the best live performances I've ever seen.