Over a decade on from her last big hit, American belter Anastacia can still command a sufficiently large and excitable crowd to stage a medium-sized pop presentation with modest stage and light show, full band, multi-tasking dancers/drummers/backing singers, costume changes and maximum commitment from all participants.
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall ***
However, calling this tour The Ultimate Collection was a tad optimistic, when the setlist comprised moderately ballsy bluesy pop/rock with few distinguishing features, on the general themes of survival, smiling through the tears, putting her heart back together, etc.
While the music lacked character, the same could not be said of the main attraction. Anastacia proved herself to be consistently game, communing enthusiastically with a front row curiously populated by a number of spry silver-haired gents (she was almost upstaged by 72-year-old George), pushing through technical difficulties with good grace and unwittingly facilitating a dust-up in the crowd when she went walkabout round the hall.
An interpretative dance interlude, like a bad Stevie Nicks video, presaged a run of 80s-style power ballads, for which Anastacia re-emerged in floaty frock ready to do vocal battle. Being apt to over-sing, the bombastic likes of You’ll Never Be Alone provided ideal fodder.
A cheesy disco megamix of Chic, Gap Band and Kool & the Gang numbers confirmed that her approach was old-fashioned rather than old school, though a Shakira twist on Why’d You Lie to Me injected some Latin flavour, while her feelbad party anthem I’m Outta Love and the overwrought melodrama of Left Outside Alone were the take-home tracks of the night.