Vocal challenges aside, it’s safe to say that Rihanna‘s arrival in 2005 was one of the best things to happen to Pop music, carving out a career supported by undeniably stellar material.
Unfortunately for, her hit-kissed discography meant all of nothing to ‘LA Weekly’ this week, who have slammed her performance at ‘The Monster Tour’, billing her “Michael Jackson on Xanax.”
Their scathing review below…
And Rihanna’s hot too. Too hot, probably, to the point where she thinks she doesn’t have to try very hard. While a cavalcade of dancers behind her sweated their asses off, she could barely be bothered to move, save for some slithering and occasional lazy rubs of her Zubaz crotch, like Michael Jackson on Xanax.
The pair have some hit songs together, and those came off especially well, particularly the closer “The Monster,” but otherwise it was hard for them to figure out ways to collaborate. Rihanna gets points for singing the Dido part on “Stan” (she was actually singing on that one, and in general you could hear her live voice much more often than his), and pulled out her island patois on T.I.’s “Live Your Life.” But the other mash-ups were weird. Ri’s part on Jay Z’s “Run This Town” segued into Eminem’s verse on Jay’s “Renegade,” which sent the crowd for a loop. (There were no guest appearances of note at the show, which is also a trend for these stadium/arena buddy rap spectaculars of late.) One wondered why she couldn’t do, say, Martika’s part on “Like Toy Soldiers.”
In any case, touring is hard. One gets the sense that Eminem overcorrects for any sense of ennui/fatigue by being extra-excitable and jittery. There was one particularly absurd moment when he was performing karaoke on “Berzerk,” a record about bringing back old-school hip-hop. In one moment his rapping gets very fast on that song, and the crowd was egging him on as he gesticulated wildly. But he wasn’t really rapping, and this wasn’t old school hip-hop at all. This was a giant cash cow tour intended to give as wide an audience as possible as smooth an experience as possible.
But, as previously noted, he tries so hard it’s difficult to get mad at him. Near the end of the show he did a medley of the lead singles from his first three big albums, “My Name Is,” “The Real Slim Shady,” and “Without Me.” He wanted to please. Rihanna seemed to have no such interest. On “Umbrella,” she seemed bored out of her mind.
With a new era on the way, wouldn’t it be great to see Riri silence her naysayers with performances worth praising. For, when she’s on, she’s really on, working the stage with Aaliyah-inspired choreography and a 90s Tomboy look.
Alas, more times than not, she’s off, making it hard for her fans to slam reviews like the above who only say what the majority of her concert goers have been thinking.
Here’s hoping the next chapter of her career comes armed a refreshed and revitalised Rihanna, who serves up performances akin to the one below!