An evening of high notes with Aguilera

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2007, 12:00am

Christina Aguilera


One night only

Pop chanteuse Christina Aguilera brought a heady dose of soulful glamour to the AsiaWorld-Arena last night as her Back to Basics tour hit Hong Kong. Displaying a vocal range as impressive as her frequent costume changes, the singer entertained a healthy crowd at the Chek Lap Kok venue for about 11/2 hours with a selection of her hits.

After taking the stage in a striking all-white ensemble, Aguilera went on to prove that married life has done little to temper her sexy image in a series of revealing outfits. Her talents were classily displayed in a show that used an energetic troop of dancers and a slick collection of video clips.

After a high-octane opening salvo that saw her perform a seamless change of attire every couple of songs, the 26-year-old star slowed things down in an intimate address to the audience in which she talked candidly about the domestic violence she had encountered early in her life. This formed an introduction to the poignant Oh Mother, a track that was accompanied by an affecting black-and-white video montage.

Aguilera didn't linger on this downbeat path and she upped the tempo in the second half with the likes of Candyman and Nasty Naughty Boy, both taken from her multimillion-selling Back to Basics album, and her version of Lady Marmalade, from the 2001 film Moulin Rouge.

She also thanked the crowd and said she was impressed by the energy of the city.

At one point, the stage was transformed into a circus complete with trapeze artists, fire jugglers and stilt walkers while Aguilera descended from a giant knife-throwing-act board dressed as a saucy ring-mistress, before stripping down to a glitzy corset and mounting a carousel horse to perform her raunchy dance-floor anthem Dirrty.

With the 2006 hit Hurt, a jazzy take on Come On Over Baby and Back in the Day, the screens paid tribute to soul and jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong.

The best, however, was left until last as Aguilera rounded off the evening with a pair of songs that seemed to strike a particular chord with the audience. First, the rousing ballad Beautiful had the crowd singing and waving along in unison, before the rowdy track Fighter sent them off into the night with a spring in their step.