Luxe Life Blog
Photos: Britney Spears stronger than yesterday, sizzles at MGM Grand
By Don Chareunsy
Who needs the Electric Daisy Carnival when you have Britney Spears?
The pop princess made a stop on her Femme Fatale Tour at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night, with Nicki Minaj (Nicki -- she’s so hot right now -- Nicki) as her opening act, and from start to finish, Spears electrified the audience and the arena with a nonstop up-tempo and full-throttle 90-minute spectacular laden with pyrotechnics, crystal-clear video images, bump-and-grind choreography and some of the fittest male dancers on the planet.
Spears has fully embraced house, techno and electronic dance music on her new album Femme Fatale, as evidenced by its first two hits, “Hold It Against Me” and “Till the World Ends.” There were no ballads during the evening -- if there were one or two, they were quickly lost on the dance floor stage -- and the pounding bass and dance beats, lights and green lasers made for an EDC that includes the 17 and younger crowd, and there were plenty of them in the audience.
The nearly two-dozen-song set list kicked off with her latest No. 1 hit, “Hold It Against Me,” and ended with the euphoric and celebratory “Till the World Ends,” and, in between, die-hard fans sang and danced along to “Three,” “Gimme More,” “Boys,” “I’m a Slave 4 U,” “Womanizer” and “Toxic.” Oh, and an S&M -- a prevalent theme during the performance (police officers in leather pants and harnesses) -- version of “Baby One More Time.”
Other songs, some of them noticeably shortened: “Up & Down,” “Piece of Me,” “Big Fat Bass,” “How I Roll,” “Lace & Leather” (in which an audience member was pulled onstage for Spears to lap dance all over -- the pint-sized, smiley male fan new all the words to the song), “If U Seek Amy” (for which she appeared in a black, lace bustier and long, flowing, white Marilyn Monroe-esque skirt), “Gimme More,” “Drop Dead (Beautiful),” “He About to Lose Me,” “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know,” “Trouble for Me,” Madonna’s “Burning Up” (sadly, everyone younger than 25 in the audience had no idea that it was rockin’ Madonna cover) and “I Wanna Go” (in which members of the audience were pulled onstage and T-shirts were thrown into the audience). “Toxic” and “Till the World Ends” were the encore.
Spears’ first words to the audience? “What’s up, bitches?! It’s Britney!” in a nod to “Gimme More” (It’s Britney, Bitch and I Love Britney T-shirt were popular items with fans.) Did Spears lip sync? Of course she did. Did fans care? No. With all the dancing and staging synonymous with a Spears concert, fans have come to expect the audio help. Does it take away from the overall performance? Not at all.
Spears had multiple costume changes, most of which were flattering, especially the Cleopatra-inspired gold bikini debuted during “Gimme More,” and the short, sparkling black dress for the encore. Critics will rip that she’s not quite back in fighting shape yet. Hmmm … she has two kids, and her arms, stomach and legs are muscular and toned. Not everyone needs to be waif-like like, say, Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez, for crissakes. Spears looks great.
Among the evening’s highlights: Spears floated over the audience a few times during the show in a swing outfitted with angel wings -- the teen angel turned fallen angel has risen from the ashes, ahem, stronger than yesterday. A male fan in the front row on the floor looked like he was going to faint every time Spears was within 20 feet of him on the catwalk that extended from the main stage into the floor. Her male dancers were ripped, sweaty and scantily clad.
Thanks to Las Vegas Sun photographer Justin M. Bowen and Tom Donoghue for their photo galleries of Spears and Minaj. Full disclosure: I unfortunately missed Minaj’s opening performance due to another commitment, but she returned onstage for the finale of “Till the World Ends,” blond wig and all.
Woah oh oh oh oh oh, woah oh oh oh oh oh …
Don Chareunsy is editor of VegasDeLuxe.com and arts and entertainment editor of LasVegasSun.com.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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