Her run atop the Hot 100 may be unmatched by any of her contemporaries, but it seems Rihanna‘s live act continues to fall flat with every attempt it makes to wow her audience.
Unfortunately, while her more staunch supporters may have found ways to overlook her shortcomings on stage, the Australian press struggled to do the same when forced to review her recent ‘Diamonds World Tour‘ stint in the nation.
What they said?
Review roundup below!
“It’s hard not to be cynical about the kind of show that will be put on by a performer who makes more headlines for public spats, tweeting notes on a Thai sex show and posting an illegal snap with a protected animal, than her own gigs.
But she’s also released seven albums in seven years, won six Grammy Awards and has a Twitter following of more than 30 million people.
So I wanted to be impressed with the two hour show put on by Rihanna for the Australian premiere of her Diamonds World Tour, but I just wasn’t.
Bored and restless fans had waited inside the Perth Arena for her to take the stage, the delay inching ever-closer to the three-hour wait suffered by her Boston fans.
More than 40 minutes late, she appeared on-stage sporting a mullet and within the first minute had begun grabbing and rubbing her crotch - something that continued unabated for most of the show (and for those playing along at home, was accompanied by lyrics like “come and put your name on it” and “boy I wanna f— you right now”).
The spectacle of the crotch-grabbing might have been lessened had most of the audience been singing and dancing along, but the first 10 songs included just one single – Talk That Talk.
She dedicated the first half of her all-ages show to what she referred to as “this reggae ****” – the nod to her Barbadian roots was jointly appreciated by some fans and a source of boredom for others.
While slurring marked the first half of the show, it was her disinterest in singing along to more than half the words of each song that marked the second half.
Largely carried by her back-up singers and backing tracks, she danced across stage with or without her microphone at her mouth, to much the same effect.
But when she changed gears from the reggae and kicked off a run of singles with Rude Boy, the change was palpable. Hands skyrocketed into the air and seated fans jumped to their feet.
When she followed with What’s My Name, her lyrics were echoed back at her by thousands of enthusiastic fans waving their phones in the air and jostling for a better view.
Six costumes included what appeared to be a pair white pants, but were actually crotch-height boots, a red and yellow leather bustier and pants with see-through mesh sides and a silver hologram costume.
Much of the audience – significantly comprised teenage fans – remained standing for Rihanna’s Umbrella, All of the Lights, Rockstar, Take A Bow, Hate That I Love You, We Found Love, S&M, Only Girl in the World and Don’t Stop The Music and gave mostly positive reviews on Twitter of her performance.
Barely a trickle made their way out before she returned for an encore and finally smashed it out of the park vocally with Stay and Diamonds.
“Thank you guys so much for reminding me of what Australia’s all about,” she said at the end of the near-sold out gig. “This was the perfect way to start this tour.
“I’m spoilt; I mean the rest of Australia don’t really have to bring it because you guys are top f—ing notch. I can’t wait to come back here.”
Excerpt from Yahoo Australia‘:
Speaking of Barbados, Rihanna seemed most at ease rolling through the five-song second act of reggae numbers better suited to her patois. This featured the first No. 1 of Tuesday night in the rowdy Rude Boy.
The singer – well, part-time singer – was joined by two backing vocalists and a muscular rock quartet featuring lead guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, formerly of Boston rockers Extreme and ex-husband of Baby Animals singer Suze DeMarchi.
This was the first time Rihanna had kicked off a tour in Perth, previous visits in 2008 (with then boyfriend Chris Brown) and 2011 finished at Burswood Dome.
“This was the perfect way to start the tour,” she said during one of the brief audience interactions. “You guys are top f…ing notch.”
Wish we could say the same about her.
Rihanna isn’t the best live singer (that’s Beyonce) or best dancer (Beyonce, too), and she doesn’t have the best production (Lady Gaga). She’s prolific but not as hard working as Kylie, Pink or Dolly.”
Sorry about it.
Excerpt from ‘In My Community’:
“Those who paid upwards of $100 for their tickets must have also been wondering where their hard earned dollars had been spent as her stage lay incredibly bare by today’s concert standards.
Relying heavily on her backing vocals, forgetting her lyrics and appearing disinterested, Rihanna did present a catalogue of songs that kept her biggest fans happy, covering everything from Rude Boy, Umbrella and What Now to the dance-inducing We Found Love, Only Girl in the World and Don’t Stop the Music, which was performed in a fun, hologram dollar bill mini-dress.”
People raved about Pink’s record-breaking The Truth About Love Tour earlier this year and are certain do the same when Beyonce graces our shores again in October/November, which made Diamonds even more disappointing.
What a shame.