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Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 9:16:24 AM
by s.s. yoga
Doing her thing: Barbadian singer Rihanna performing in Berlin, Germany. — EPA
In the first of her two
shows in Macau, Rihanna mesmerised the sold-out Cotai Arena with a scintillating performance.
THE bets were hedged on how late Rihanna would be for her concert on Sept 13 in Macau (or Macao, as some spell it). It was her first ever concert in the SAR of China and the first Asian stop on her Diamond World Tour (with following stops including Manila and Singapore – for a showcase during the F1 race).
The ticket said 8pm, but we in the media knew there would be a warm-up act, and that turned out to be some deejays who kept the crowd suitably happy and pumped up. Thanks to inside information from M.A.C (whom Rihanna is the face of the moment for and collaborating with on four makeup collections), who were kind enough to be bring in a media entourage from the Asia Pacific region for the show, we heard she was scheduled to arrive at 9pm.
I knew from experience, as that was the time the deejay set would be over. So I gave Rihanna another hour (it’s rare for a big artiste to start on time). True to form, she “dutifully” appeared on the rather small stage at 10pm – with the adoring crowd giving her a huge welcome.
She looked really hot! And her legs seemed to go on forever.
I couldn’t figure out who designed the outfit though. Reportedly, during the tour, she would don several outfits designed by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, Raf Simons, creative director at Christian Dior and Adam Selman, her personal costume designer.
Rihanna started off with songs from her latest album Unapologetic. But the anticipation to perform her hits from the crowd was palpable.
Right from the get go, she had members of the audience engaged, sitting down at the front of the stage and letting them lap it all up. Apparently, there was a “shoe-malfunction” (a wardrobe-malfunction would have been more titillating), where she needed to take her stilettoes off.
At one point, she told her back-up band to give a sneak peak of a track from her yet to be released album.
(So, she kind of gave the game away. One of the questions I posed for the interview with Rihanna scheduled two days later in Hong Kong was about her upcoming album. Her pre-release(d) answer: “I love making music, so I never plan on making the album based on timing. I never say: ‘Oh my gosh, OK, new year, new album.’ For me, recording an album is like buying new shoes or lipstick. You get bored, you want something exciting, you love what you have, but you want something else. So, I love making music and it excites me. I end up making my albums really close together. So far, it’s been almost one every year. But who knows?” Want to bet it’s going to be November? That seems a favourite month for her to drop a new release.)
Then she teased the crowd even more by walking down to the barricades facing the stage, to put on her new pair of shoes. “Hey guys, where’s my sneakers.” That promptly created a stampede to get a “piece” of her.
During the second part of the concert, there was more uhm ... “candy crushes” for the fans. Another glitch, this time with the sound – which prompted RiRi to apologise. And to kill time, she decided to get back to the barricades for an Instagram session with a fan (and everyone photo bombed it). The guy had been holding up a sign, saying, “@badgirlRiRi. Take a picture with me ... Kiss ... Kiss.”
Who says wishes don’t come true?
Back to the most important thing – the music. The first part of the concert was mainly numbers from her current album. And while the fans still lapped it up, the party really started during the second half – when it was hit after hit from the multi-platinum-selling artiste.
Umbrella, We Found Love, Where Have You Been, Only Girl (In The World), Don’t Stop the Music, Rude Boy, S&M, Jump (from Unapologetic), What’s My Name – you name it, she sang it.
RiRi showed her dance moves on stage, and the crowd seemed satisfied. But let’s put it plainly, she ain’t no Britney, Madonna or Janet (Jackson). After awhile, you could see her steps were repeated, though she had some signature moves. She tried some twerking, too.
Her backup dancers, though, were superb and complemented her well. But many in the audience expressed disappointment when Rihanna seemed to pull back on the raunchy moves – sure there were some sexy moves and crotch touching, but it was kept to a minimum. And her dressing was decidedly conservative – she kept the same outfit on throughout the show. Her dancers had more costume changes.
Perhaps the recent controversy over Miley Cyrus’ racy performance during the Video Music Awards played a part in that. But during the next night’s concert, Rihanna wore more “provocative” clothes.
She closed the show with Stay and Diamonds. While there were times during the concert when you could see her lip-synching, the last two songs she actually sang live. And whatever you want to say about Rihanna, she has vocal chops.
To sum it up, it was a satisfying 90 minutes but it did not hit the stratosphere. She did convert some non-fans though, if eavesdropped conversations were an indicator!
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Entertainment, Lifestyle, Rihanna, Diamonds World Tour, Macao, Macau, Cotai Arena, concert
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