[There was a video here]

Reclusive British singer/songwriter/dancer Kate Bush played her the first of her 22 Before the Dawn shows at London's Hammersmith Apollo last night and people are freaking the fuck out. The show was divided into three sections: an opening hits portion, a theatrical interpretation of The Ninth Wave (the entire Side B of her 1985 Hounds of Love album) about a woman drowning, and another narrative portion using the songs of A Sky of Honey (the second disc of her 2005 comeback album Aerial), at the end of which Bush transforms to a bird. The Guardian's Alexis Petridis summarizes the show's sprawling, and at times absurd spectacle in his review's opening paragraph:

Over the course of nearly three hours, Kate Bush's first gig for 35 years variously features dancers in lifejackets attacking the stage with axes and chainsaws; a giant machine that hovers above the auditorium, belching out dry ice and shining spotlights on the audience; giant paper aeroplanes; a surprisingly lengthy rumination on sausages, vast billowing sheets manipulated to represent waves, Bush's 16-year-old son Bertie - clad as a 19th-century artist – telling a wooden mannequin to "piss off" and the singer herself being borne through the audience by dancers clad in costumes based on fish skeletons.

Petridis calls Bush's voice "note-perfect throughout," though the New York Times' Ben Ratliff notes, "She stayed away from her earliest work, with the greatest vocal gymnastics, and at first moved warily." (i.e. Kate Bush did not perform "Wuthering Heights.")

Word about the show trickled out slowly as it was happening, on account of Bush's anti-cell phone policy. "I have a request for all of you who are coming to the shows," she wrote on her site last week. "We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iphones, ipads or cameras. I know it's a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together."

That makes sense, while at the same time, sounds like someone who hasn't been on stage in 35 years. Still, it largely worked with the only leaked footage so far being performances of her encores, "Among Angels" (from 2011's 50 Words for Snow) and "Cloudbusting" (from 1985's Hounds of Love). The former has already been removed from YouTube; the latter is above.

The full setlist was:


"Hounds of Love"


"Running Up That Hill"

"Top of the City"

"King of the Mountain"

"And Dream of Sheep"

"Under Ice"

"Waking the Witch"

"Watching You Without Me"

"Jig of Life"

"Hello Earth"

"The Morning Fog"



"An Architect's Dream"

"The Painter's Link"


"Aerial Tal"

"Somewhere in Between"



"Among Angels"