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:
Happy Kate Bush Day! What did you get me? A remastered deluxe edition of The Dreaming? You shouldn't have! (But really, someone should.) In just a few hours, the real elusive chanteuse, singer/songwriter/producer/interpretive dancer/small boy/occasional bat Kate Bush will play the first show of her 22-night residency in London's Hammersmith Apollo in a production titled Before the Dawn. These will be her first proper concerts in about 35 years. What will she play?! (Will she play "Suspended in Gaffa?" She better play "Suspended in Gaffa.") How will she move? Will there be banter? Will there be monsters? This is so exciting.
Kate Bush has announced a string of concerts that she will play in London in August and September. This may not sound like a huge deal, but not doing shows is Bush's thing — she hasn't played a concert in almost 35 years. After all these years, she's still able to conjure up new ways to be weird. May she never stop.
Every once in a while, Kate Bush makes an appearance in pop culture, mythical creature that she is. Tonight was not an example of one of those appearances. She did, though, needlessly rerecord her only song to go Top 40 in the U.S., "Running Up That Hill," and give it to the Olympics so people could do weird things with their bodies, recreate some of her interpretive dancing from the video and build a literal hill along to a song that's really about gender-fucking. Also, there are montages of athletes, some of them weeping in defeat. In other words, this was a solid Kate moment, despite her predictable absence. (I believe she literally lives in a castle on a hill.)