Last night, my two Twin Cities-based cousins and I went to the Rihanna concert at the Target Center. It was like no show I’d ever seen before. Half a dozen costume changes, pyrotechnics, glitter, platforms rising into the air — the works. Granted, I’ve never been to a concert so big before (Dar, Ani, Flogging Molly . . . I suppose the Glee tour comes the closest). All in all, Rihanna really puts on a show.
“S&M.” It’s one of my favorite Rihanna songs; it’s on my mental Chicago playlist. Visually, with those ribbon/ropes, it was great. Unfortunately, I couldn’t always hear her over the background. And while it was cute that she would point the mic at the audience at times, I found myself wishing that I could hear her sing it.
“California King Bed.” Rihanna does spectacle, well, spectacularly. I think I liked her best, though, when she just sang. And oh man, does she have a voice. She’s got talent. Even without flashy dances and short shorts, she impresses. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the show.
“(Cheers) Drink To That.” It was a lot of fun, kind of like a big party. It felt a little more casual, a little less staged than some of the other numbers.
“Take A Bow.” It was simple and kind of sweet: she sat on the edge of the stage and sang to the audience. It showcased her voice and the fact that she doesn’t need to run all around the stage in order to put on a great show. Of course, I have a soft spot for “Take A Bow” because my friend Caitlin Heaney sings a cover of it.
It was interesting to be at the concert of such a popular performer. I really enjoyed spending time with my cousins, and they’re big Rihanna fans. But I didn’t feel a connection to Rihanna; I didn’t get that “oh my Athena, I can’t believe this is actually happening!” feeling. I’d pass over Rihanna for Ani DiFranco or even Dar Williams (but preferably at Bryn Mawr — I feel like she had extra energy there) any day of the week.
Rihanna had these huge numbers, and she’d prance about the stage in her killer heels (very impressive, by the way) . . . and I kept wishing I’d see a little of Rihanna’s personality, not just how she performs. She looked like she was having fun; she’s a great performer; I had fun — I just didn’t feel a connection. Still, Rihanna was great, and I’m glad I went. If I were a die-hard Rihanna fan, I’m sure I would have adored the show.