Rihanna has been copping a lot of negative press recently surrounding the controversy of her Adelaide performance where she arrived onstage 90 minutes late and was believed to be intoxicated and lip synching throughout the show. So it’s safe to say everyone was watching how her next show in Brisbane was going to go. It’s safe to say that Rihanna delivered and proved to everyone why she was on that stage with a powerhouse performance showcasing songs from her new album ‘Unapologetic’ as well as all the hits that have topped the charts worldwide.
She kicked the show on her knees singing ‘Mother Mary’ in front of a statue before unveiling the whole stage while strutting her stuff to ‘Phresh Out The Runway’. For the first 10 songs she performed some fan favourites from her last few albums including ‘Birthday Cake’, ‘Cockiness’, ‘Talk That Talk’, ‘You Da One’ and Man Down’ before going into the hits. What followed were ‘Rude Boy’, What’s My Name’, ‘Umbrella’, ‘What Now’ and ‘Love The Way You Lie’. Rihanna’s on stage charisma is incredible to watch because you can visually see that she’s genuinely having fun on stage and enjoying her time performing. She does a lot of gestures to her groin and doesn’t shy away from being provocative and grinding against props and her dancers. She also sticks it to Miley by showing the crowd how Twerking is supposed to look. Visually the show is less theatrical compared to her 2011 Australian tour and is more reliant on her interaction with the live band and dancers which works really well. Her set is quite massive with screens constantly moving and adapting the view of the stage for each song. During her performances of ‘Jump’ and ‘What Now’ the whole stage is enlightened with flames. But it’s her lighting and strobe lights that deserve to be raved about as they were visually incredible to watch and created such a great mood.
The last segment of the show see’s Rihanna performing the major hits ‘S&M’, ‘Only Girl’, Dont Stop The Music’ and ‘Where Have You Been’. During ‘We Found Love’ she jumps off the stage and runs along the barrier getting up close and personal with her fans sending the majority of the crowd into hysterics. After saying good night to the crowd she remerges to close the show with ‘Stay’ and Diamonds’ which caused one of the biggest sing a longs of the whole night. This is where her vocals shine the most as her vulnerability is shown with the singer getting a bit emotional during ‘Stay’ fighting back tears.
Rihanna’s vocals have improved a lot and become stronger and throughout the concert she really showcased her incredible vocal range and the amazing talent she does have. However she did have a lot of pre-recorded backing vocals which could have been dropped and would have improved the live sound. The show progressed really well because she kicked it off with the fan favourites and gradually started throwing all the big hits and making moments that the audience will never forget. This is the strongest I have seen her perform and she genuinely seemed like she was having the time of her life on stage. Reviews in Adelaide and Perth said she was intoxicated, dis-interested and lip synching but she was definitely singing live, looked sober and loved the crowd in Brisbane. The negative reviews really gave her the boost to perform her hardest and give the crowd what they wanted and that was a powerhouse performance.