Britney Spears anticlimactic performance in Miami

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Posted 23 July 2011   Live Music Review,Music News

July 22, 2011

American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

Written by Patty Canedo

I’ll admit that my personal agenda of the evening was mainly to see Nicki Minaj, but having to sit through the anticlimactic Britney Spears set was a heavy price to pay. As I uttered when the countdown to Brit’s performance dwindled on the big screen and the lights went down in the AmericanAirlines Arena on Friday, “Let’s just get through this.”

The show was an overblown and underwhelming spectacle with all the generic elements and story lines you can throw on one stage. Spears opened with “Hold It Against Me” to find the Femme Fatale eluding authorities (assumingly for ticket gouging). But attempts to entrance the audience with the obligatory (and overused) rise above the audience routine, along fireworks and Brit’s stiff dancing, were contrived and blasé. Even the “…Baby One More Time” lead into Rihanna’s “S&M” fell short, probably because it was performed in the never sexy and quite tired dominatrix garb. We get it Brit, you are trying to shed the pop tart image.

Random Marilyn Monroe and Cleopatra references, along with cartoonish Japanese skits and design sets, were more self-indulgent than engaging. Relying heavily on mechanical props, moving platforms and an army of dancers to propel this performance to the level her fans wish it would be instead faltered. Perhaps now that the theatrics have become stale it’s time to do better than 40 percent live?

Before Brit Brit even pretended to sing a note, she may have left a bad taste in some of her fans’ mouths, when floor seats are at an outlandish $350 – and merchandise everywhere down to commemorative Britney sodas at $8. But then that’s how the Britney machine rolls.

For such heinous acts against music lovers the pop diva should deliver more than an evening with one of her CDs blasting at high volume. But the near sell-out crowd didn’t seem to bat a fake eyelash or flip a neon pink wig. By the time Britney performed “Toxic” and “Till The World Ends”, the crowd was into it and all was forgiven between Britney and her fans. I just hope those who had floor seats weren’t amongst the dozens walking to their car uttering, “She wasn’t lip-syncing the whole time.”

Of course, on this particular Pink Friday the effervescent Nicki Minaj was the energetic, hip-hop delight I was hoping for. With a bedazzled mic in fist and a small accompaniment of dancers, Nicki romped and gyrated, getting things jumping with “Roman’s Revenge”.

The show also featured Sean Kingston making his first appearance since his near-fatal watercraft accident over the Memorial Day weekend. Kingston joined Minaj for “Letting Go (Dutty Love)” in a set heavy with “featuring Nicki Minaj” tracks. I’d love to see her remove the unnecessary story line, Enya sequences and hype up the production value, so hip hop’s royalty won’t have to open for the likes of Britney Spears any more.

Jessie and the Toy Boys opened the entire evening, entertaining the arriving crowd who were trying to locate seats and situate cocktails with their quick set of dance pop songs.

 

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