Does that surprise you? Did you think that because Britney Spears has been looking so good lately that she would also be on top of her game, performance-wise? Well, according to this concert review from The Telegraph, that is most definitely not the case.
I was going to give you guys a few excerpts from the review so you know how Britney’s doing nowadays, but the whole thing is just too good. It includes such gems as “why would anyone continue to care about such a useless performer?” and claims that Britney “skips lazily around, making no visible effort” and that it’s as if “something has been beaten out of her.” Sounds pretty accurate so far, right?
Is this what passes for live pop entertainment in the 21st century? Despite the usual vast video screens, giant props, costume changes, lasers, pyrotechnics, dry ice, salacious dance routines and thundering sound system, this was the saddest, laziest, dullest and most tawdry pop concert I have ever witnessed.
The most amazing thing about the whole second-rate spectacle was that thousands of people, having forked out around £50 a head for tickets, practically raised the roof, cheering every dismal dance move, roaring for lip-synched vocals and lustily applauding limp erotica. The tour labours under the faux-sophisticated title “Femme Fatale”, but it’s more of a femme fatality.
At the heart of this disaster is a vacancy, and it is Britney herself. It is as if, during a decade of extreme fame, including a very public breakdown, substance abuse and ill-judged affairs, something has been beaten out of her. She is dead-eyed, barely makes an effort, and in merciless close-up, on those giant video screens, seems oddly unsure of herself, like a chorus girl who has been pushed to the front of the stage.
Looking just a little bit chunky in a range of bikinis, she skips lazily around, making no visible effort, just hitting her mark while 18 scantily clad dancers throw themselves acrobatically about in a vain attempt to cover her ungainliness.
She has no grace at all, sticking to about three basic moves: an awkward butt thrust, a clumsy hip wiggle, and a jerky fist punch, all accompanied by a simpering, eager-to-please smile.
She can’t dance, and doesn’t even bother pretending to sing. This is the most fake, processed live music show since, well, Britney’s last tour. In contrast to the huge troupe of dancers, there are just two alleged musicians onstage, pushing keyboard buttons, while full-scale recorded techno pop pumps out. Walls of Auto-Tuned harmonies appear without the aid of a single backing vocalist: but then, why bother with that masquerade when even the star is obviously miming?
Only during a ballad, Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know, performed while seated on an elevated swing, does Britney obviously contribute a live vocal – and it is atrocious: croaky, sharp, nasal and wobbly.
Why would anyone continue to care about such a useless performer, so obviously ill-at-ease with her trade? Well, she’s got big hits, and every time she pulls them out, the mood elevates. Yet Britney’s insecurity is exemplified by the way she prematurely cuts her trademark song Baby One More Time at the second chorus, only to do a cover of Rihanna’s hit S&M instead.
Inviting comparison with a more talented rival is disastrous. Rihanna can actually sing, and dance, and makes an effort to connect with her audience, which might explain why she has sold out 10 nights at the O2, while Britney failed to completely sell out one.
Yet the faithful just don’t seem to care. In thrall to the power of her image and fame, they treat each glorified mime routine as if it were the greatest show on earth.
Did any of you guys catch Britney on tour? If so, was she as much of a disaster as this review makes her out to be?