Believe it or not, Kelis Rogers is an artist that has kicked her way around the scene for over 15-years, bet you’re feeling a little old now, right?
Having creating six records that have borrowed elements from R n’ B, hiphop, pop, electronica, house, afrobeats and neo-soul, the maturing artist has unquestionably dipped her music brush in an expansive sonic palette.
This April, Kelis served up her deliciously moreish sixth record Food (a release we’ve devoured so much that it landed on our best records of 2014 thus far) which saw the artist produce her must organic, honest and innovative work to date.
Outside of the sizzling hot 13-track course, Food served as a particularly symbolic moment for Kelis, it being the first record that she’s produced since her nasty divorce with hip hop legend Nas, providing a sense of much-needed creative catharsis for the artist.
In celebration of her first release in four years, the 34-year old made her way south of the equator for Splendour In The Grass 2014, but first, she had a pit stop at The Prince of Wales Hotel in Melbourne.
As we weren’t completely stuffed from the vinyl pressed tasting-plate of April’s Food, we decided to make our way to St. Kilda and have our full Kelis feed, and we admit, there was one very important question we needed answered: does Kelis’ milkshake still bring all the boys to the yard?
Packed into the forever sweaty bandroom at The Prince, Kelis decked out in a glitzy sequinned dress emerged, notebook in hand alongside her brass band to a sea of excited eruption.
Quickly greeting the audience by flashing a typical cheeky Kelis grin, the songstress hushed the audience and as she set the scene for the evening, bellowing the opening lines of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good,’ accompanied seamlessly by the brass of her backing band.
The positive vibes for the night set in motion, Kelis dove straight into the opener of this year’s Food, ‘Breakfast,’ as the crowd “ooo-ooo ahh-ahh” along in unity.
Next on the chopping block was (arguably) her best track to date, ‘Millionaire,’ that features Andre 3000. There was admittedly a fleeting moment of hope that the Outkast member, whom is here to headline Splendour, might do the ultimate unthinkable and appear on the stage in recreating this pop-duo masterpiece, alas, he did not, but Kelis took his verses and killed it.
After this, the feeding frenzy really begun as the Harlem native served Food’s ‘Cobbler’ and ‘Friday Fish Fry.’
Kelis introduced ‘Rumble’ as her favourite song off her latest record, labelling it her “heart-break track” as she jokingly explained the meaning of the song, “you know, my favourite shoes are at his house, damn it!!”
Refusing to be one of those artists that neglect her illustrious past, Kelis spun into the RnB slamming hit ‘Trick Me,’ which caused the audience to go berserk.
Focusing on fan-favourites, Kelis soared through a melody that included ‘Get Along With Me,’ ‘Good Stuff’ and ‘Glow,’ with her stunningly suave husk vocals.
Completely in-tune with her super-tight brass outfit, ‘Jerk Ribs’ proved to be the jazzy show-stopping track of the electrifying performance, Kelis transforming the St. Kilda venue to a smokey watering hole you may find in the backstreets of New Orleans.
She then took a different spin on the almighty ‘Milkshake,’ the band turning the witty pop-track into a thing of neo-soul beauty. Laughing after the track played out, she joked with the audience “people always ask me, is Milkshake still fun to perform after 10-years, and I’m like ‘hell yeah!’”
Reflecting on her career aloud, soul queen almost couldn’t believe it had been 16-years since the release of Kaleidoscope as she asked “we still look cute though, right?” which, as anyone could imagine, brought forth an onslaught of whistles and catcalls.
Closing the heated evening with a burning outro of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good,’ Kelis proved that she is not some one-hit-wonder, famed and then shadowed by her one track, ‘Milkshake.’
Charging through a setlist that spanned through her deceptively lengthy career, the songstress has never appeared more genuine or proud to be on the touring circuit, and with the performance we witnessed, so she should be.
With such a sensual, earthy and overall palette-satisfying set, we can emphatically report that its not just Kelis’ milkshake that brings every hungry music lover to the yard, but her entire sonic menu.
Feeling good (intro)
Friday Fish Fry
Get Along With Me/Good Stuff/Glow
4th of July (Fireworks)
Feeling good (outro)
Bless the telephone