Missy Elliot Live at The Palace Theatre
Mix Master Mike warmed up an already eager crowd with easy favourites, and cheesy favourites Beverley Hills Cop, Put Your Hands Up For Detroit and even ol’ mate Fatman Scoop got his obligatory inclusion. Major Laser’s Pon De Floor was about as progressive as his brief, but well received samples grew, hell even Blur’s #2 got a jersey, albeit a baggy XXXL one. When local rep M.A.F.I.A spun Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston classics,
The Palace was buzzing with a boozy crowd eager to kick off an early weekend.
It’s with no small amount of hype, hollering and cajoling that Missy herself finally arrives on stage.
The mere sight of her bedazzled tracksuit immediately brings back memories of her 2004 tour, where –arguably in the peak of her luminous career- she choked horribly, disappointing fans and critics alike with a lackluster show that the blamed on a throat infection. It would be fair to say that it was one of the worst live shows I’ve ever had the misfortune of handing over $100 for, but tonight feels different.
The Palace is positively sweating, and everyone is moving, but when Missy storms through a brief medley of massive hits Gossip Folk and One Minute Man within the first minute, a repeat of her previous performance seems to loom ominously. Get Your Freak On is performed in it’s electric entirety, aided by gyrating dancers and plenty of crowd participation. Among the awkward lulls and physical theatrics, Missy warns that the more energy the crowd gives the more she will return, but it’s starting to feel like she’s not holding up her end of the bargain.
Suddenly we’re dealt a brief medley of Black Eyed Peas and Usher songs, and the crowd -despite earlier enthusiasm- isn’t buying it. Work It and Pass The Dutch are performed in full, as Missy climbs the lofty Palace stairwells and mingles with fans, successfully shedding any diva allegations that we may be tempted to fling her way.
A further 15 minutes are spent showing off her 10-strong crew of dancers, and an edgy albeit unknown protégé is granted generous stage time, but the former shrieks of delight have died out by now, and the glee has given way to confusion as to why our star seems so desperate to shirk the spotlight.
We’re granted a brief chorus from Miss You before the show seems to conclude as our girl waddles into the crowd to greet some fans leaving the rest of us once again befuddled and unamused. When she fails to return to the stage, and the crowd thins, the DJ who was largely responsible for whatever vague sense of anticipation and continuity the show possessed, feels the vibe slip from his tenuous grip and bails without a word.
The show ends in stark contrast to the way it began, flat and lifeless and it seems Melbournians have been dealt yet another brutal anticlimax.
See if you got Snapped at the Missy Elliot Gig.