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Rihanna Heats Up The Dome

Concert Review by Jason Clevett (From June 2011 Online)
Rihanna Heats Up The Dome
Image by: DMAC Studios
Rihanna Heats Up The Dome
Image by: DMAC Studios
Rihanna Heats Up The Dome
Image by: DMAC Studios
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In 1998 I attended Janet Jackson's Velvet Rope tour in Vancouver, in which she tied an audience member to a bed and proceeded to seduce them. Fast forward 13 years later, and there was Rihanna, writhing around on a lucky audience member at the conclusion of Skin off her current Loud album.

I couldn't help but feel a similar vibe between the artists. Perhaps it was the Velvet Rope-esque afro, or the inclusion of military style costuming and dancing that reflected Rythm Nation on Breaking Dishes but there was definitely a Janet vibe to the show. This is in no way an insult, as Jackson is one of the greatest performers ever, and Rihanna's show stood out on it's own. It certainly wasn't a copy by any means, but certainly what Janet was in the 1980's and 1990's, it appears Rihanna has become in the second decade of this century.

It was less than a year ago when Rihanna brought her Last Girl on Earth tour to Calgary, but judging by the audience reaction it had been years. The near-sold out crowd was singing along from opener Only Girl (In The World) when Rihanna entered in a giant glowing hamster ball, and then Disturbia and Shut Up And Drive. Current single Man Down, about a rape victim shooting her rapist, wrapped up the initial set.

It was then that the show went to the sexual side. Dressed in a tuxedo, Rihanna poked a leather clad dancer with a cane as she thrashed around on stage and poles, before being stripped down to a white full piece and chained up for S&M.

While the show had it's sexual moments, it was on ballads like the beautiful California King Bed and initial set-ender Take A Bow that she shined. She sang every note of the show and displayed her incredible vocals live with no autotune or lipsynching, a impressive feat these days.

The energy picked up with songs like What's My Name?, Rude Boy, and Please Don't Stop The Music. Rihanna again showed vocal ability while sitting atop a piano that raised up on a platform for Love The Way You Lie, Pt. 2, the "sequel" to her duet with Eminem from last year, and the set closer Umbrella.

The Loud tour had a lot less gimmickry than The Last Girl On Earth a year ago, allowing for Rihanna's talent to not take a back seat. There was plenty to take in - instead of a pink tank she had a double-barrel cannon, she walked along a conveyor belt, and there were multiple costume changes.

At just 23 years old, Rihanna has mastered the art of the spectacle concert. With a long list of hits already under her belt, it's a good bet that she will continue to be around for a long time. I for one look forward to seeing what the Rhianna concert experience evolves into as she matures as a performer.(GC)

Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios
Image by: DMAC Studios

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