Thursday, April 28, 2016
#1655 Rihanna in SLC
Last night MT, T and I went to see Rihanna perform her ANTI world tour here in SLC. I bought the tickets the day they went on sale back in the fall and the tickets were pretty expensive. All three of us like Rihanna and her music, so I was happy and excited for all of us to see the show. I don't listen to a lot of local music radio, but I didn't hear much about this concert when I did listen to the radio. When Taylor Swift was coming, that's all I heard about. Same with Justin Beiber and Katy Perry. I thought Rihanna would get a lot of publicity - she's on the radio a lot, or she used to be, anyway. The songs on the first major album Good Girl Gone Bad are quite a bit different from her next albums.
The streets in front of the arena were pretty quiet and the parking was way easy compared to a Jazz game or other concerts. In the arena, parts of the upper bowl were curtained off, but there were a fair amount of people there - maybe 10,000. I'm not sure.
We had good seats in the lower bowl about three rows from the floor and directly across from the sound area. We could see the stage very well. The seats were cushion-y, but we didn't use them once the music started. They would be freaking awesome seats for a basketball game!
Travis Scott opened the show. T really likes him and his music. He is a rapper that relies too much on the auto-tune in my opinion. Still, I liked his energy and his beats.
Rihanna came out around 9:30. We were looking at the stage as the house lights started to dim and music started playing. We didn't even notice that in the sound area right in front of us, a platform with stairs and a mic stand had been erected. Rihanna entered the arena to our right and took the stage in front us. She was maybe 20 feet from us! The thing is she was wearing a scarecrow type wrap and hood that hid her face and body. After the first song, Stay, she did pull down the hood and waved to crowd. She looked gorgeous, of course. I tried to take a photo but I was excited and didn't hold it while the flash was working so it was all blurry. :/
For the second and third song, she stepped onto a suspended platform where she sang, gyrated and strutted as the platform moved over the crowd on the floor. It was pretty cool.
After that she went to the stage where she sort of sang but mostly preened and strutted and danced for the next 75 minutes or so. Some of the performances were just snippets of songs. She does a lot of features with other artists, so some songs were just her parts in those songs. She had four costume changes during which her dancers and her band (yes! she has a whole band!) entertained us. The dancers were great.
I enjoyed watching Rihanna, but I prefer to hear her on my car stereo. I didn't think she sounded very good. A lot of times she wasn't singing at all. Plenty of times she would sing one or two words and the audience and the background singers would do the rest. I thought her best singing effort was on Stay and Love on the Brain.
MT and T both really liked the show. I left feeling kind of blah about the whole thing. I thought she was better when I saw her at the Rose Bowl with Eminem. I like her upbeat dance music and the new album, Anti, doesn't have as much of that type of music.
After the show, I couldn't help comparing how I felt after I saw Taylor Swift's 1989 tour to this Rihanna show. After Taylor's show, I felt excited and happy and like I totally got my money's worth. I felt kind of ripped off after Rihanna's show and a little dirty, but not in a good way. Like grimy dirty. It's weird; I don't know if I can explain. It's a difference in image and perception. It's a difference in language used and relating to the audience. It's "bad girl RiRi" and "good girl TayTay" I guess.
Don't get me wrong...I do love Rihanna's music and I'm glad I went to the show. I would have been bummed out to miss it. I'm just saying it wasn't the best concert ever. And that's still ok.