Rihanna LOUD Tour Review
Before the LOUD Tour gets into full swing, I wanted to give my review of the opening show of Rihanna’s highly anticipated LOUD Tour. Sadly I only had my point and shoot camera, with a battery that was on its death-bed, but I’ve posted a few snap shots.
So Saturday night I went to 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, MD for the launch of Rihanna’s LOUD Tour with a bill that has J.Cole opening, Cee-lo, and then Rihanna. I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with the show, except for one part, or should I say one person, and that would be Cee-lo, but we’ll get back to that.
I wasn’t expecting a lot from the show, I’m not a huge Rihanna fan, and although she has some fun songs that make me want to wind up my waist, I enjoy her style as far as fashion goes, more than her musical prowess. Also based on TV performances of Rihanna, she isn’t someone on my top 10 (or 20 for that matter) people I want to see in concert list, but my best friend loves her and wanted to go to the show for her birthday, so I decided to check it out, plus it didn’t hurt that DJ Dummy (my artist) spins for J.Cole, so why would I miss the chance to check out a show!
With an 1 1/2 hour set with 30 songs and a 2 song encore, 6 outfit changes, running around the inner circumference of the arena twice, a stint (she needs more practice) on the drums, and no lip syncing, Rihanna damn sure gave her audience their money’s worth! It’s the best I’ve heard her sound, the most energy I’ve ever seen exude, and she had personality; I was satisfactorily entertained, the show is not for kids though. She gave the show her all; second to last song after a lap around the arena you could see her slightly wince with exhaustion, but she was a show-woman.
Check out her 2 song encore here. She showered or should i say rained down confetti over the crowd, while closing with Umbrella.
On the reverse end, Cee-lo was not quite the showman. He created a 45 minute lull of boredom with his performance. Supposedly he fired his all-girl band 3 days prior…and apparently the appropriate replacement were 2 strippers (or 2 professional dancers who dance like strippers). Two strippers do not a band make; as a result the crowd had to sit through Cee-lo standing in place for the most part, with 2 stripper hype-women. The most exciting part was his silver sequins jacket, which he took of two song in. Needless to say, I used my bathroom break during the set. While I was in the bathroom I overheard a conversation between two people:
Person 1: Who’s Cee-lo?
Person 2: You know Cee-lo Green, he has that Fuck You song, I can’t wait until he plays it!
Most people seemed lost and bored during his set, and then rumbled into utter excitement when they deciphered Fuck You was coming on through Cee-lo’s drum and bassish remix version. Cee-lo’s posture seemed to deflate a little when he heard them roaring to the song, like he was some one hit wonder, he seemed to suddenly recognize what kind of crowd he was in for, for this tour. I have a funny feeling by mid-July he going to start yelling f*** you at the crowd with disgust and hate. I’ve listened to Cee-lo since the Goodie M.O.B. days…it would be nice to see him start the show with Free from the Soul Food album or something; instead of the whole show being this glossy, trying to be Motown BS. He’s been in the game for over 15 years, he better demand that respect and get his show together!
J.Cole’s show was good, but too short, he needs more than 25 minutes! But for a crowd who predominantly doesn’t know who he is, I think it was a cohesive show. Starting with Start is Born with Jay-Z and All I Want is You with Miguel was a great choice. Although I like more of J.Cole’s grittier music, the song selection was perfect for the diverse crowd the bill drew, for positioning him for someone they need to keep in their radar, and making him seem commercially viable; good job Music Director. I will say though, with Cee-lo’s use of lighting and Rihanna’s massive stage setup, J.Cole needs to incorporate a stage aesthetic, because his good performance may get lost visually from the rest of the show.
All and all it was an impressive show, and I look forward to seeing the show again after they get more cities under their belt!
Yesterday my friend sent me this J.Cole’s interview with Nardwar (love him!) from late last year. So since J.Cole came up in this post, here is some extra entertainment, I had a good laugh with this one!