Friday, April 25, 2008

CONCERT REVIEWS - World Wide (I don't make this shit up people)

HONOLULU, USA, September 18, 2006 - Maybe the Barbadian pop star is just too circuit tired but when she appeared in Honolulu for the second time in three months she received bad reviews for a performance full of flaws.
The 18-year-old continues to tour in support of her sophomore album, "A Girl Like Me", released in April.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin said that the sound was out of whack with her recorded background vocals over-powering her.
It was also critical of her overall performance and general entertaining manners.
It wrote: "For an artist who has toured relentlessly the past 12 months, Rihanna's overall performance had a lot more flaws than would be expected. There were too many silent pauses between songs -- a definite vibe-killer during any concert, no matter who the artist is. Sound problems that plagued her newest material didn't help, either.
"And why end the 40-minute set with a cover tune? Maybe if she recruited a local artist to join her on stage and play acoustic guitar, then it would have been a cool way to go out before the encore. But singing to an instrumental track? That's karaoke!
"It's too bad she had to leave immediately after the concert for a performance at the L.A. County Fair yesterday. Method Man, her labelmate at Def Jam, was scheduled to follow at Pipeline last night and would have undoubtedly taught her a few lessons on the finer points of entertaining a crowd."



OTTAWA-THERE WASN'T ANY BLUES AT BLUESFEST LAST NIGHT, JULY 14, 2006 - Her show was a Disney-esque choreographed fantasy of non-stop hip-swivelling, sassy attitude and personal endearments and a string of funky, sugar-free hits, such as We Ride, Unfaithful, Kisses Don't Lie and the Soft Cell-inspired SOS that, even by hip-hop standards, was surprisingly forgettable. The music took a back seat to fashion as Rihanna had a hard time singing in tune, while her dancing was little more than strutting back and forth. Meanwhile, her hyperactive DJ kept telling us to make some noise, which I thought Rihanna was already doing sufficiently well on her own throughout a dreary and embarrassingly short 40-minute set.

It's not that every one of the hundreds of musicians who play Bluesfest have to have a blues pedigree, but what claim the bubblegum queen has on blues, or music for that matter, is beyond me. For an event as predictably trustworthy as Bluesfest, last night's presentation was a broken promise.



Rihanna flops In Trinidad

US R&B/soul singer John Legend picked up exactly where producer and friend rapper Kanye West left off when he delivered an exciting stage show at the b2 concert on Saturday night at Pier 2, Chaguaramas.

Credited with launching Legend's career, West, the headline act of the first instalment of the bmobile concert series last December, had his musical presence all through Legend's 90-minute set.

His passion for funk and jazz shone through in Legend's music as the crooner mixed the popular tracks off his multi-Grammy award-winning debut album Get Lifted with new unreleased material from his upcoming project Once Again, which hits record shops next month.

The sold-out crowd enjoyed every moment of Legend as he teased his fingers along the keys of his black Yamaha piano, inspiring them to join into the chorus of the title track off his debut.

"Let's get lifted," they harmonised with Legend's smooth background vocalists while his band cranked up to full pace.

He followed up with a love song called "Heaven Only Knows" off the new album that showed his gospel roots before taking the microphone from atop his piano to a stand positioned at stagefront to spurn a deceitful web of a love triangle in his popular groove track "She Don't have to Know".

"We'd go to T&T and hold hands publicly all through the streets cause they don't know you and they don't me," he sang, inspiring another roar of approval from the ladies who swooned at his feet in both the VIP and general admission sections of the crowd.

With a partition splitting the front of the dome-shaped stage, both sections were afforded the opportunity to get close to the performer.

They seemed all too eager to draw to stagefront when Roca-fella's latest star Rihanna was announced as the first of the international acts following a lively opening from Kes the band.

The Barbadian pop princess Rihanna, as she was introduced on the night, however, failed to impress during a lacklustre 45-minute set.


A change of clothing, three times over, didn't change her fortune on the stage as her DJ had to call several times for the crowd to get into her performances of her hits "SOS", "Turn It Up" and "Loving That You Want".

"Come on, T&T, we came all the way from Barbados to do this show," Rihanna pleaded amidst an uninspired groan from the crowd.

Legend, meanwhile, slowed the tempo to perform another ballad off his new album, titled Each Day Gets Better before once again upping the ante to sing the very popular "Number One" which features vocals from West.

He continued in that way throughout his performance, mixing the old with the new before pausing to invite a young lady out of the general admission section of the crowd to dance with him while he sang another new song called "Slow Dance".

"People always ask me, John, why do you sing all those cheating songs but, as Snoop Dogg told me, you can change nephew," he said with a laugh as he once again positioned himself behind his piano while his fingers found the opening notes to "I Can Change".

Shades of Lionel Richie could be seen in his movements, vocals and attitude as the lights dimmed for his rendition of the mega-hit "Ordinary People".

Legend ended his set with "So High" before telling the crowd he would return only if their cheers were loud enough.

The deafening screams for his return must have been heard as far as his home town in Ohio.

He responded in emphatic fashion, returning to end his performance with a never-before-heard upbeat remix of the song.


Akon shows Rihanna how it's done

At GM Place on Saturday, September 15, 2007

If cable reruns of Kung Fu have taught the world anything, it's that there are two kinds of people in this world: masters and grasshoppers. There was no mistaking who was who at GM Place on Saturday. As much as he has his faults hurling underage boys into audiences and dry-humping 14-year-olds Akon is indeed a master. By the time he was halfway through his encore, every person in the Garage was on their feet shaking their asses. No one was immune to his charms, and, yes, that included the frizzy-haired 50-something Far Side character a couple of rows down from me. Earlier in the night, she'd sat there staring grimly off into space while Akon had the entire audience including her 11-year-old riot-nrrrd of a daughter gang-chanting "I wanna fuck you". Proving that Akon can charm the plus-size mom jeans off his biggest haters, Mrs. Far Side spent the final 10 minutes of the show working it like something out of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back".

But first, let's deal with the grasshopper. The kindest thing you can say about Rihanna is that she's shown some improvement since her last visit. For a start, she no longer seems tone-deaf. Still the Barbados-born singer has plenty to learn about keeping an audience engaged. Banter-wise, she had little to offer other than "You're in for a treat this is my new single". As far as the visuals went, Rihanna won S&M points for thigh-high PVC boots and an ass-cheek-baring micro-mini that was part rubberware, part Glad garbage bag. Less captivating was her gaggle of rhythmically challenged backup dancers, who were evidently also-rans from the casting calls for Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, and Theatre Under the Stars' upcoming production of Cats. At least their ineptitude made you forget that their fearless leader couldn't outdance Heather Mills.

Musically, Rihanna live show bears little resemblance to the over-processed artist we've heard on her platinum-shipping records. Bolstered by a back line that included a guitarist on leave from the pop-punk army, and a turntablist dressed by the stylist for AFI, the singer had moments where she actually rocked. "Let Me" played out as metal-tipped grunge-pop, while "Good Girl Gone Bad" stood up against anything that's ever been released on 604 Records.

Rihanna's definitely got the hits; a year ago she would have blown her bolt right off the top by starting with "Pon de Replay", which this night sounded like drum 'n' bass in a garbage can. The loudest screams predictably went up for "Umbrella". The techno thumper "SOS" aside, the loudest song was the distortion-powered "Shut Up and Drive". Featuring hard-candy hooks that Ashlee Simpson would trade her nose job for, the latter almost made you forget that Rihanna had all the charisma of Steven Wright. It didn't, however, compensate for her tuneless mangling of Bob Marley's "Is This Love", made more heinous by her suggestion that fans pay tribute to the song by hoisting their cellphones high.


Rihanna, O2 Arena, London

(Rated 2/ 5 )

More like 'The Clothes Show'


Yui Mok/PA Wire

The dominatrix effect: Rihanna's skimpy attire rather eclipsed her singing

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

In the boulevards outside the O2 Arena, an already half-forgotten Big Brother winner skips happily past me, trailing screaming girls in his wake. Inside, young girls in Rihanna T-shirts and tutus link arms, showing pop devotion's more appealing side. Both sights are more memorable than Rihanna's actual show, which celebrates the 10 weeks at No 1 for "Umbrella" with an overblown yet old-fashioned spectacle.

Rihanna turned 20 last month, and watching her walk on in a black spandex fetish jacket, bustier, ultra-hot pants and stiletto boots, you have to wonder who has moulded her success. "Where my ladies at?" she asks, before joining her two similarly clad female dancers in wiggling their bottoms, as a prelude to "Break It Off". It's like watching the death of feminism to an R&B beat.

Worse for Rihanna, when she poses cocked against the mic stand for "Rehab" as if she's a torch singer, then draws on her West Indian roots for Bob Marley's "Is This Love", the skimpy leatherwear looks ludicrous. Whatever late-night rap channels may feel, Half-Dressed Dominatrix is not an all-purpose style for young female singers. It's also the exact look Madonna was courting mild controversy with circa 1992. When her dancers stretch and pose in slow motion as she slips off her jacket, it is a Hollywood "gentlemen's" club's idea of sexuality and transgression.

"Good Girl Gone Bad", dedicated "to all my bad girls out there", sets a similar lyrical template. "You better learn how to treat us right," she asserts, of a bad boy who's left her broken and boozing in a club. But she follows it up with "Hate That I Love You", which is nothing if not masochistic. The final irony in Rihanna's dominatrix look is that this slight Bajan girl, barely out of her teens, seems naturally pliant and nice. It is as if her out of tuned, dancer's body has been dressed by older, male hands, to suit their own fantasies. Amy Winehouse's wild, wilful self-destruction suddenly looks almost healthy.

Rihanna's two backing singers, meanwhile, wear more tasteful cocktail dresses, and carry the songs. Her rougher voice cuts across them almost randomly, and is only strong when buffed by effects. Look at the video screens, and you can admire Rihanna's looks, and diamond-encrusted mic. Look at the stage, and her real performance has no charisma, no defining persona. She could be a mannequin, or a hopeful rap video extra.

When Rihanna slips off for a costume change, we are taken still further back in time, to some awful Eighties Broadway dance "piece", incorporating bits of Tron, and Cabaret's pink boas and hats. Guitar solos from the usual expensive, hack band signify rock'n'roll, as Soft Cell's version of "Tainted Love" forms the undercarriage of "SOS".

Even when "Don't Stop the Music" stumbles on a genuinely driving, house cyber-beat, cages are wheeled on to clamber into athletically. "Shut Up and Drive" sees Formula 1 flags and pit-babe outfits. It seems amazing that the young crowd are sitting still for this misbegotten mess, until I realise that they have seen it on American television. From American Idol to Oscar night, Rihanna is offering the kind of tackiness that still passes as mainstream showbiz in the US; which, for many, pop is now reduced to.

It's like punk, disco, and the 21st century never happened.



Apr 17, 2008
Glow In The Dark Tour

Of course the next act up is none other than Rihanna. Now before I go on my rant about her I have to say that even though I don't care for her as a music artist I did try to give her a chance. Yet what I expected is exactly what I got. I have to say that this set seemed to be the most awkward of the others and really just seemed out of place for this tour. It was very girly, very colorful and jumped too much between up-tempo and slow songs.

Don't expect to hear dynamic singing or see amazing dance moves. Rihanna doesn't do that. I wasn't surprised to see most people just standing around watching. While the other acts did a great job of getting the crowd involved into their music, Rihanna just couldn't' seem to do it. She went through a good mixture of some of her old and new songs ranging from Break It Off to Umbrella to Hate that I Love you (without Ne-Yo of course).

Honestly during the song "Unfaithful" I had to literally walk out. I just couldn't take it anymore. Maybe I am biased just because I didn't like her from day one, but even people that like her still say her part of the concert doesn't really seem to fit with everything else.

3 comments:

  1. Rihanna Sux!!! Yeahhh, right on!!! I wasted money to see her perform. Now I'm bitter. I need a refund!!!

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  2. :-D LOL! I know the feeling. My cousin dragged me to a show in the park last year & I couldn't believe how awful she was! It was just sad, & being that I don't like her... I guess you can say I was overjoyed simply because I could talk about her & tell the TRUTH. No lies needed. Rihanna SUCKS!

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  3. yes!! i completely agree!!

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As is implied and emphatically stated, this blog is in regards to the lack of talent and all that is the boring cloned puppet rihanna. If it upsets you...... TOUGH...... jaw juggle some ballz bitchez. :-) feel free to comment