"It’s so good to be here - thank you so much," said legendary English performer Kate Bush Tuesday night as she ended the last scene of her first show since 1979.
The now 56-year-old singer-songwriter performed at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in a three-hour show title Before the Dawn— composed of 22 performances.
Anticipated audience members welcomed her grand appearance as she arrived on stage barefoot in an all-black ensemble, followed by her five back-up vocalists.
She started the show by opening with Lily, a song featured on her album The Red Shoes from 1993, and was praised by a cheering crowd of fans when she sang Cloudbusting, from her 1985 hit album The Hounds of Love, right before exiting the stage.
Most of the show consisted of songs from her 2005 album Ariel. Although she didn’t perform much of the singles from her first four albums, fans like Richie Cairns was just happy to be able to witness her comeback.
"I don’t mind what she does, he told BBC News. People say we want to hear the hits but I’m not fussed to be honest. I just want to see and hear her after all this time."
During the peak of her career, Bush’s 35-year hiatus was a sudden shock to most fans. After a six-week European concert tour in 1979, she disappeared from live performance altogether.
There are a few assumptions as to why the eclectic songstress decided to leave behind her career. Some speculate it was because of the death of a tour crewmember, the fear of flying, the desire to start a family, or the need to be a perfectionist.
Bush previously admitted in a 2011 interview that touring, as a young 20-year-old female, was enormously enjoyable but also physically draining.
Bush was born into a very artistic and expressive family. Her father was a pianist, her mother a folk singer, and her older brother John was a poet and photographer. Her other brother Paddy, however, was an instrumental maker and ended up being a major part in her career.
At the tender age of 16, she was signed to record label EMI in the mid-1970s. While her career experienced a lengthy time of stalemate, Bush recorded nearly 200 demo tapes and took interpretive dance classes and mime training.
Her career didn’t take flight until her 1978 debut album The Kick Inside. The album featured songs produced and written by the 19-year-old, but it also included songs composed by Bush when she was only 13 years old.
In 1978, Lionheart was released and was followed by her The Tour of Life tour, which soon would lead to the abrupt end to her live stage performances.
However, Bush continued to write and release albums including Never Forever (1980), The Dreaming (1982), Hounds of Love (1985), and The Red Shoes (1993), which was her highest chart position ever experienced during her time as a singer.
On Tuesday, Bush made sure to give credit to one important motivator in her life who encouraged her to get back on stage.
Printed in the program was a word of gratitude dedicated to her 16-year-old son Bertie McIntosh, who is also a singer in the musical.
Without his encouragement and enthusiasm, she wrote, particularly in the early stages when I was very frightened to commit to pushing the go’ button, I’m sure I would have backed out.