Views on pop culture through my eyes

Rihanna in Concert
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The Forum

ANTI World Tour 2016

Special guest: Travis Scott

Rihanna-2016

Songs performed: Stay, Love the Way You Lie (Part II), Woo, Sex With Me, Birthday Cake, Pour It Up, Numb, Bitch Better Have My Money, Goodnight Gotham (dance interlude), Consideration, Live Your Life / Run This Town / All of the Lights, Umbrella, Desperado, Man Down, Rude Boy, Work, Take Care, We Found Love / How Deep Is Your Love, Where Have You Been, Needed Me, Same Ol’ Mistakes, Diamonds, FourFiveSeconds, Love on the Brain, Kiss It Better

Comments: Rihanna brought her ANTI world tour to Los Angeles last week for a couple of shows. The tour is named after her 8th studio album, ANTI, which features the number one hit “Work” featuring Drake.

I had last seen Ri-Ri on her Loud tour back in 2011. She’s had more 3 albums and countless hits since then. She started the show with her smash ballad “Stay” — where she was on a small stage on the other side of the arena. She was dressed with a hooded coat over her heard. She also sang her part of “Love the Way You Lie” — her duet w/ Eminem.

From there, Rihanna hopped on a suspended plexiglass catwalk over the crowd, and made her way to the main stage. (I heard that it didn’t work on her 2nd night, and she had to make her way on the floor).

Rihanna is one of my favorite singers of the last 10 years. She has had an incredible run of hit singles since her debut. So that is why I was so upset when the “ANTI” album finally came out, and I didn’t like it. More like hated it. We waited 3 years for this? A moody project with some half-ass songs on it, and no real hits? I guess I am in the minority judging by this show, and the reaction to her new songs. She did a majority of the album in the concert.

“Work,” her duet with Drake, is decent musically, but lyrically it is sort of lame. I never would have predicted it would go to #1. “Kiss It Better” and “Desperado” are the other 2 that are OK, the rest are just not my cup of tea.

The stage was sort of sparse, very clean and fresh looking all in white. The band was lowered for part of the show, but were raised up later in the show. She did perform a medley of her songs with rappers like she did before. So we got “Live Your Life,” “Run This Town,” and “Kill the Lights.” And she also performed her other duet with Drake “Take Care” which is a much better song that “Work.” Unfortunately, Drake was a no-show that night, but I heard he showed up the following night in LA.

She did perform “Umbrella,” “Where Have You Been,” “We Found Love” and “Diamonds.” Those are some of my favorites from her. During “We Found Love” there were giant rainbow blow-ups surrounding the stage, to give the feel of a rave. They looked sort of like caterpillars. It was interesting that she chose some album cuts over hits too, like “Birthday Cake” and “Man Down.”

She had about 4 costume changes in the night. Most of them were in earth tones. They were playful and stylish. The wildest one being a bit of a see-through dress with her privates covered in a body suit covered in spangles and glitter.

Her band, backup singers and dancers all did a great job supporting the star. She is one beautiful woman, with a very distinctive and strong voice. I forgive her for “ANTI,” and I give her props for trying something different. She could have played it safe, but she didn’t and I commend her for it. It was also good to hear “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “FourFiveSeconds” — her hits from 2015.

One interesting side note was the backdrop used during the ending sequence. It was a silver backdrop — with soap bubbles dropping from the ceiling against it. The show ended with the drummer and percussionist looking like they were going to be swallowed up in bubbles.

Opening act Travis Scott’s set was big miss for me. He’s a foul-mouthed rapper, in his performance and when he was talking to. The crowd though ate it all up, so again I am in the minority. Only one song in his set seemed to have a decent beat. He also made his way out into the crowd for one number, and let someone rap a couple of his verses too. The guy did a good job, and Travis even gave him his cap.

Songs I would have loved to have heard in the show: “Pon De Replay,” “SOS,” “Murderer,” “S&M,” “Cheers Drink to That,” “Jump,” “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” “Only Girl in the World” and more.

Thanks to Rihanna and her crew for a good show. Hopefully I will love the album she is touring behind next time!

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Speedos lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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