|Rihanna & Mr. Will-W.|
Earlier in the week, Rihanna made a stop-off at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre for her Last Girl on Earth Tour and now I'm finally getting a moment to share my experience with you! Although the gorgeous Bajan-born Pop Star's visit was brief, she made quite a splash on and off-stage in the city.
Prior to her show, she decided to walk up Peter Street from her Hotel with some ladies in her Entourage. Within moments, Paparazzi and passersby began noticing and following her. Rihanna of course, had to curtail her walk, opting for shelter from: 1) Heavy winds blowing her skirt out of place a la Marilyn Monroe 2) The hoards of people in pursuit of Barbardos' most prolific export. And no I'm not talking about Sugar.
While finding cover in the Parking Garage of the Hyatt Regency, I got pretty much a Photo Shoot with her as she happily posed for pictures and get this, played with children as their parents snapped up a storm. She was extremely gracious to take a picture with your Maven of Pop Culture and personalized a copy of Good Girl Gone Bad - one of my favourite Pop Albums of the Decade. Yes, that look on my face genuinely is one of Starstruck and awe as it has been whispered that Rihanna has developed a habit of ignoring fans in pursuit of autographs and photos. I believed it. Well, that just turned out to be a bunch of nonsense, didn't it?
I did attend the Last Girl on Earth Tour with my good friend DJ Sumation, although unfortunately there was a v. strict No Camera Policy. Admittedly there were some v. pitchy moments like Russian Roulette, an odd choice to open the show, but overall the vibe was positive and most importantly, her fans responded with nothing but support and love.
The audience, predominantly young girls in their early 20s, were treated to a fun opening performance by Ke$ha who rightfully should soon be headlining her own Tour soon. I did observe though that Rihanna's show lacked cohesiveness as I watched her operate in two modes - Rock Star and Balladeer. She made Phallic gestures with stage props and writhed about on a pink Tank one moment, but then crooned a Medley of Ballads soon after: two extremes.
It is no mystery to my loyal readers that I am not so much a fan of Rihanna's newer material from Rated R, thus I relished every moment that she performed her earlier hits like Pon de Replay, Don't Stop the Music and Disturbia which had giant Androids on Stilts chasing her around on stage. By the show's mid-way point, she hit her best stride and her voice was optimal.
Highlights of the night included a brief snippet of her Eminem collaboration Love the Way U Lie, before proceeding into Airplanes by B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams and Hate That I Love You (video to come soon!). Her rendition of Rude Boy had just about everyone on their feet and Stupid in Love, inspired post-breakup, had the audience witnessing her damp eyes on projection screens.
The show's encore included solo snippets of her more popular collaborations Run This Town and Live Your Life, before wrapping up in grand fashion as pink Confetti filled the air during her biggest smash of all, Umbrella. An enjoyable show, but the lack of a clear concept and connection with the audience held it back from being a truly wonderful show.
View more exclusive pics I got of Rihanna in town below:
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)