Rihanna at Madison Square Garden: The Barbadian star brings her army tank, Mickey Mouse ears, and catsuit to New York City

rihanna-concertImage Credit: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.comNew York’s Madison Square Garden was flooded with kids for pop starlet Rihanna’s Last Girl on Earth tour last night (August 12). And not “kids” as in teens, twenty-somethings, and tweens. I’m talking about children, little girls whose parents wouldn’t even think of allowing their little ones to strut out of their front doors in the kind outfits worn by the Thursday’s headliner.

It was an odd sight, peering over the arena and finding such an eclectic blend of youth: An eight-year-old girl with barrettes in her hair sitting next to a woman 17 years her elder, a flamboyant pair of men in blazers with jagged hairdos and cut-off denim shorts one row in front them. All were waiting intently for not only their sister in loud haircuts but also her stunningly grungy opening act, Ke$ha.

Looking as if she’d just dropped major dollars at a glam-rock garage sale, Ke$ha hit the stage in a tattered black Metallica t-shirt, super-short shorts, and leopard-print gloves. The 23-year-old started off with “Blah Blah Blah,” and couldn’t contain how excited she was to be playing at the historic venue.

“I cannot believe that I’m playing at the f***ing Garden,” she yelled. “Holy s***balls.”

“Party at a Rich Dude’s House” quickly switched to a jam about creepy old men, aptly titled “”Dinosaur.” Hers was a fun 30-minute set: Prancing around U.S. flags draped in Christmas lights along with her dancers, Ke$ha ran through all of the singles from her debut album, Animal. Like a wasted party girl at night’s end, she crawled the length of the stage for “Take It Off.” Her style (or lack thereof) is constantly attacked; what hardly is mentioned, though, is her talent. The Nashville native’s Cyndi Lauper-meets-the-Valley voice was a near-perfect match to her tracked records. She also briefly hopped on the keyboard and drums before closing out with her breakout smash, “Tik Tok.” Her time up, the main event was set to start.

A robotic voice greeted fans prior to Rihanna revealing herself: “Welcome to Rihanna’s world. These are her dreams.” The stage transformed to a barren battlefield, and Rihanna floated out wearing a black gown fit for a funeral. The red-haired vixen started with the grim “Russian Roulette.” The 22-year-old quickly dumped the dress, uncovering a sexier studded flesh-toned leotard highlighted by its exaggerated shoulders. (Ever the fashion icon, all of her costumes featured exaggerated shoulders.)  Next up was “Hard,” where she climbed up and straddled the long arm of a pink tank—sexual innuendo intended. The kids in attendance should’ve been covering their eyes. They weren’t. Maybe they were just admiring the Mickey Mouse ears she rocked.

The sold-out venue enjoyed all of her grinds and winds. She’s not a high-caliber dancer. But she’s mastered the skill of being attractive while grooving. Rihanna’s voice was strong as well. Unlike Mary J. Blige or Mariah Carey, hers isn’t of the powerhouse variety. It’s more like a pleasant Bajan siren, if there’s such a thing. It never wavered or fell flat. Soaring monsters attacked during her “Disturbia.” Several outfit changes later, she pushed up on her male dancers to for “Rude Boy” in a catsuit. Then, in need of treatment, she sprawled out on a leather chair for “Rehab.” “Te Amo” found her teasing her dancers, who looked more ready for a bondage session than a concert. And transitioning from “Breakin’ Dishes” to “The Glamorous Life,” Rihanna stepped to the drums for her best Sheila E. impression. Travis Barker’s tutelage was put to good use. Even wasn’t the best drum solo ever, it was a cute try.

As the show wound down, many were hoping for a surprise guest. Surely Rihanna’s first headlining stop at the Garden would merit an appearance from “Run This Town” collaborator Kanye West, who was in attendance? Or maybe Jay-Z, who had just finished up a performance at Radio City Music Hall a few blocks up the street, would join her in time for an “Umbrella” grand finale. No such thing occurred. She confidently finished this show on her own as pink confetti rained on the audience. The jumbo screen went dim as she glided backstage. Then it lit back up with its last pink all-capped message: “WAKE UP!” Wow, what a dream that was.

Comments (44 total) Add your comment
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  • Jerset Jeff

    who cares about htis tramp

    • Drew

      Well since u clicked on the article, read it, and felt the need to comment…probably you!

    • d

      Apparently all the people who helped sell out the show you just read about. Idiot, who cares about you

      • amanda

        They had a number of ticket give aways and my friends were literally given tickest as they were leaving a Lady GaGa concert so don’t be fooled! From what I heard, Ke$ha actually upstaged the headliner.

      • Ramury

        @amanda, I was there. You heard wrong.

      • Andre

        a ver si ponemos esto en claro: HILLARY DUFFF no esta a la atulra para ser nro 1 por favor!! yo respeto a todo el que tiene un pesimo gusto musical y le gusta esa pelotudita que canta pesimo en vivo y las letars de sus canciones son cualquier cosa , pero hillary duff no esta apta para estar en el nro 1 , es cuadrada de cuerpo , y principalmente tiene una dentadura nueva que c hizo que es mas grande que ella, hablemos con la verdadDDDD!!!!!!! ademas si son als mas lindas del 2008, la vaga de hillary duff ni aparecio este af1o estoy de acuerdo que fergie este en el nro 2, aunque tenga cara de vieja, paris hilton ni es cantante , ya que su disco fue un frakso y estuvo pesimo en ventas .shakira es muy linda de cara y merece estar en este ranking , rihana>: esta bien en el puesto 4 , es una morocha , flaquita , con lindos hojos nada mas , y resaltan ya que su piel es morena , eso me gusta pero tiene QUILOMETROS de frente , y su nariz es muy ancha , para mi habria que incluir e este raking a chris aguilera y a nicole scherzinger de las pussicat dolls que son muy atractivaS. Pero llendo al grano para mi la cantante mas hermosa de todas es BEYONCE, ME PARECE LA CANTANTE MAS SEXI DE TODAS , SU CUERPO QUE NO ES ANOREXICO , ESE ABDOMEN CHATO , Y ESAS PIERNAS , APARTE DE SER MUY LNDA DE CARA Y NI HABLAR DE SU FORMA DE MOVERSE MY GOODD!!! ademas de ser super FEMENINA YA QUE EN CADA ACTUACION TIENE ESOS VESTIDOS Y ESOS TACOS, ASI QUE PARA MI EL PUYSETO NRO 1 ES PARA LA GANADORA DE 10 GRAMMYS , UN ASCAP COMO LA 1 MEJOR COMPOSITORA AFROAMERICANA , Y MILLONES DE PREMIOS MAS , BEYONCEEEEEEEEEE!! Y NO QUIERO ARMAR GUERRA CN NADIE , ES MI OPINION , ES MI FORMA DE VER EL TALENTO Y LA BELLEZA , MUCHAS GRACIAS

    • Etienne

      I totally agree with you man! Every review I have read said the show pretty much sucked arss! And Ke$ha “f***ing Garden,” she yelled. “Holy s***balls”.” What a class act.

      • Lois

        Where you even there hearing things dont count cause I saw the show and she showed she was great and no one was upstaged

    • etm

      Yuck! That picture is disgusting.

  • PN


  • Henry

    If there’s room for Gaga, there’s plenty for Rihanna. Go, girl.

  • u

    She doesn’t need to be in the league of a Mariah or a Mary J. to be a good singer, but she just can’t sing. At all. She always sounds flat, and yeah, she sounds like a siren alright. An ambulance siren. Extremely annoying to the ears. Add to the fact that she isn’t visually entertaining (she’s stiff as hell), and it amazes me at how she still has a career. She would NEVER be this lucky if she were some overweight chick. Why do these reviewers keep pretending that this girl has any musical talent?

    • mike

      Rhianna is charming. She’s also very rich and famous because people enjoy her music and how she sings. Your comments sound like sour grapes. She may not technically be a great singer, but the millions of people who buy her music don’t seem to care. If pop music were all about perfect vocals, you wouldn’t have such a great diversity of singers.

      • u

        “If pop music were all about perfect vocals, you wouldn’t have such a great diversity amount of mediocre singers.”

        There, fixed it for you. And I’m hardly jealous of Rihanna, as she is not particularly talented in any form. There are far better singers and performers worthy of being jealous of, and I’m not even jealous of those as well, I’m either a fan or indifferent. BTW, if record sales were truly an indicator of quality, then no one would know who Rihanna is. Your argument is so typical and weak.

      • loveydovey

        She can stand next to J.Lo and the rest of the non-talents.

      • Jean Genie

        Mike, why don’t you admit you’d hit that? And not like Chris Brown?

    • A

      If you don’t like her, then don’t pay any attention to her at all. You seem jealous when you write comments like that.
      She is obviously doing something right if she can sell out the Garden and have so many hit singles. She is an international pop star.

      • u

        The tickets went on sale for $10. That is the only way she can sell out a show these days. She has already canceled 6 concerts due to lackluster ticket sales. What is there to be jealous of? And this isn’t a Rihanna fansite, your opinions aren’t the only ones that are allowed.

      • Jean Genie

        What does the word “jealous” really mean to fanbots like A? To me, the J-word means being upset that I’m not like the person I can’t stand. To the fanbots, it just seems to be no more than a synonym for “non-sheep who can’t fathom how infatuated I am with this person who wouldn’t p*** on me if I were on fire”. Sorry, but I fit neither definition.

    • amanda

      @U very well said! She truly has no vocal ability. I am bored with the media constantly lying or mentioning something irrelevant to the topic as a means of justifying them not criticizing her lack of talent.

      • 00ghostgirl00

        They don’t mention her “lack of talent” because for one, that wouldn’t sell as much, and for two, she obviously does have some kind of talent to have sold so many records, shows, product endorsements, ect., not to mention having a whole page of people arguing over her…

      • skid row

        Nah, it ain’t talent… just good marketing, lol. Britney Spears is the best example of that.

  • Joy

    @u u are such a liarer i attended her concert at MSG yesterday and she was amazing live and she played the drums and entertained the crowd. We stood from beginning to the end of the show. I bought my ticket for $140 with 10 of my other friends. The $10 ticket u talking about applies to lawn seats where u stand on the grass and IT APPLIED TO 50 Other artist offered by livenation. MSG is an arena not an outside venue so there were no $10 tkts.

    • Ramury

      I agree. I was there, she was good. I’d also like to add musical taste is personal. You don’t have to like her or think she has talent. That’s not a fact. Just your opinion.

  • ah ha ha ha

    Her drum playing is real as her guitar playing, lol. Her fans are so gullible, but I guess people have to be this gullible these days in order for people like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga to be so successful. Remember when performers could wow their fans with their actual talents and not their frequent display of their crotches? Oh man, those days are so gone…

    • Corey

      I blame Madonna.

  • jbnkjnvkja

    Ummmmmmmmmmmmm……what the F is wrong with her?? She is such a freak now. Not that I ever enjoyed her music, but now she’s just a complete freak. Yeah, nice picture. She obviously has no shame doing that in front of children and old people…..sicko. Somebody send her to a freakin mental institution, that’s where she needs to be.

    • Jean Genie

      Wouldn’t send her to a mental institution, but she still needs help for self-esteem. Great that she has sexual feelings, but what indeed did happen to class, as well as leaving stuff to the imagination?

  • smartass

    Why do these “singers” feel the need to do their pap smear poses all the time? SOOOO gross to look at that.

  • fancypants

    the pic above is kinda disgusting.

  • Amy Wyman

    I feel as though I’ve seen her hoo-ha more times than either her boyfriends or her gyno. It’s disgusting. I’m no prude, but come on, whatever happened to something called class? There’s a difference between looking sexy and looking slutty; in this case it’s clearly the latter. If she has any talent, how will people notice it when she’s dressed like that and has to resort to such desperate antics? It’s really sad.

    • amanda

      LOL…her what???…LOL! Wow, I totally agree!

  • No

    Kesha’s talent? LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL.

  • Etienne

    “Unlike Mary J. Blige or Mariah Carey, hers isn’t of the powerhouse variety. It’s more like a pleasant Bajan siren,”…Come on man stop trying to prop her up. Rihanna is no Beyonce in looks, style, or singing prowess! She damn sure can’t touch the actual singers you mentioned.

  • ashley

    she is the worst performer that ever did any performance. And doing a concert for kids?? but who else would follow her because kids don’t know talant. She is horrible just like that hair of hers

  • True Blue

    Well, it seems that the majority of the comments on here seem to be in agreement that Rihanna is not talented! And this is hardly the only site in which the comments seem to contrast with the review, I wonder why that is? Apart from her delusional, die-hard fans who think she’s incapable of doing any wrong, not many people think Rihanna is any good, even if they like her tunes. So why do reviewers constantly prop her up as this great talent? Only a handful of websites have managed to be honest.

  • littlemonster

    C’mon… all she has done this year is try to be the Black Lady Gaga!
    I’m African-American and I personally do not want someone like this representing my community.
    LOVE Lady Gaga, USED to love Rihanna. Go back to your roots girl.

    • psychoanalyzer

      Ok, you don’t want Rihanna representing the black community but you like Lady Gaga? Does she do a good job representing the white community or something? Gaga has slightly more musical talent then Rihanna does but she also wears less clothes. But judging by your name, you’ve clearly been brainwashed to believe that Gaga is something special.

      oh and BTW…I’m black.

      • beth

        @psychoanalyzer, you’re not wrong there, we are all (blacks) brainwashed that white ppl(lady gaga) are something special.

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