The pop singer was joined onstage by a lone dancer, who flung himself wildly around with equal physicality and grace as Sia belted the thunderous track from a platform placed near the back of the stage.
“Bird Set Free” appears on Sia’s latest album, This Is Acting, which comprises tracks the singer initially wrote for other artists. “Bird Set Free,” however, had a more complicated trajectory as Sia explained to Rolling Stone. The song was first written for Pitch Perfect 2, but turned down, then sent to Rihanna, who also returned it, and then finally Adele, who sent it back as well.
“I could not believe they rejected ‘Bird Set Free’ because to me it was such a big, anthemic, fun, sing-along-in-the-car song,” Sia said of Pitch Perfect 2‘s rejection the track (the film did boast another Sia cut, “Flashlight”). “I felt seller’s remorse. I had grief. I feel connected to that song.”