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Posts tagged ‘Rihanna’

Rihanna: ANTI Tour 2016

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.

Spring Entertainment Roundup Part 1

It’s that time again… here are my reviews on albums, movies, DVDs and even one play that I have seen/experienced in the last few months. As always comments are kindly welcomed.

 

Albums

Justin Bieber “Purpose” I am a belieber! I never thought I would buy an album from this guy. But he’s been smart and has hooked up with some top producers and song writers to deliver a solid collection of dance-pop songs. Highlights include all the singles “Where Are U Now,” “Sorry,” “What Do You Mean and “Sorry.” Grade: A-

Demi Lovato “Confident” This is someone I should like…. I have liked other Disney girls like Miley, Britney, Christina and Hilary Duff too. I knew her music from the “Camp Rock” movies plus a few of the bigger hits too. Her vocals are strong throughout, the songs not as much for me. Highlights include “Cool for the Summer” and “Confident.” Grade: C+

Bryan Adams “Anthology” This is the most definite collection for Canada’s own Bryan Adams. I have 2 other greatest hits collection from him (See previous blog about complete collections). So you get the hits, album tracks, and a few bonus tracks like live and alternate versions too. With over 30 songs, this is a strong career overview. Grade: A-

Carrie Underwood “Storyteller” The latest from American Idol winner Carrie Underwood is a solid collection of the songs she does best. You have sweet ballads, and you have your songs with attitude too. I didn’t think it was a strong as “Blown Away” when I first got it, but it is growing on me. Highlights include: “Smoke Break,” “Heartbeat” and “Chaser.” Grade: B+

Rihanna “ANTI” There is no being nice here — “ANTI” is awful. I can’t believe we waited 3 years for this. No hits as far as I am concerned… maybe 2-3 OK songs. This is a serious misstep for her. And she is one of the best females of the 2000’s. Still looking forward to the concert… but seriously she has done better than this. Somehow the first single “Work” — actually went to #1. Grade: D

Miranda Lambert “Kerosene” The first album from her. I actually started with her most recent release, “Platinum,” which I loved, so that made me curious about earlier releases. I knew the title track, but that was it. The rest of it doesn’t disappoint. A good mix of uptempo songs and ballads. You could tell she was on her way to greatness. Grade: A-

Wynonna & the Big Noise “Wynonna & the Big Noise” The latest album from Wyonna Judd, and her first since 2009. This time she brought along her band, the Big Noise, in which her husband is a member. She’s not trying to chase any trends here… and I doubt she will be played on the radio with it. But she made the album she wanted, a very blues-rock oriented country record. Definitely worth a listen. Grade: B

 

Movies

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The 7th installment in the Star Wars saga brings back old favorites Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer, along with a group of newcomers. I guess I am just over Star Wars. It was OK at best… And the more I think about it, the more I dislike it. What I liked when I was 13 is not what I like now. Just a big commercial for the toys and other tie-ins. Grade: D

Spotlight
It is definitely one of the best movies of the year. Excellent writing and acting. It should be a big awards contender. You will be angry and sad at what went down with the sex scandals and the Catholic Church in Boston. Thank you to the journalists who made this story a priority. And may we continue to hold in prayer those who were victims of abuse. Grade: A

The Big Short
The setting is the recent housing crisis, and how some people bet against it knowing that it would fail. They got rich in the process. Featuring an all-star cast including Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Directed by comedy veteran Adam McKay. You’ll laugh, but it also mad me mad. Grade: B+

The Revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio (as Hugh Glass) stars in this story of a fur trapper who is attacked by a bear. His comrades believe he will die in the harsh wilderness and leave him for dead. His son is also murdered so as to have no loose ends. Not only does Glass survive — but he makes his way back to try and kill the man who murdered his son. Beautiful locations and great performances… still it’s basically a long revenge movie. I have a hard time believing this can win as best picture. And if Leo finally wins an Oscar for this, it will be for his whole career and not just this movie. Grade: B-

Bridge of Spies
Tom Hanks stars in this movie directed by Steven Spielberg. During the cold war, a Soviet spy is captured in NY. Hanks is hired as the lawyer to defend him. Later on he arranges for a prisoner exchange when the Russians capture one of our guys. An interesting story I had never heard before. Written by the Coen brothers and Matt Charman. Also starring Oscar nominee Mark Rylance. Grade: A-

Room
Brie Larson stars in this movie about a woman who is held captive in a room along with her son for the past 7 years. Jacob Tremblay is amazing as the son. With a supporting cast that includes William H. Macy and Joan Allen. Mother and son do make it out of the room, only to find challenges adapting to the real world. Ms. Larson is definitely someone to watch out for. She was in another great movie called “Short Term 12.” Grade: A

Brooklyn
Saoirse Ronan stars a young woman who leaves her native Ireland for the US and a better life. She lands in Brooklyn, and quickly finds herself growing to like it there… the people, her career, and a boyfriend. A tragedy back at home brings her back to Ireland where she is shown an alternate path she could take. Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson star as the love interests. It has some light moments, and was a nice coming of age story. Grade: B

Creed
Ryan Coogler co-wrote and directed the latest movie in the “Rocky” franchise. Sylvester Stallone stars again as Rocky, but the focus is on Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of Rocky’s foe and friend, Apollo Creed. Rocky becomes his trainer and helps Creed move up the ranks all while facing his own health issues. The studio is hoping for a new franchise. It looks like this is the new chapter the saga needed. Stallone even got an Oscar nomination from this performance. Grade: B

Straight Outta Compton
This biopic tells the true story of the rise of the legendary rap group — N.W.A. It is nominated for Best Original Screenplay at this year’s Oscars. I resisted this movie because I really don’t like this type of music, but I found myself getting into the storyline. And for something I don’t follow, I knew a lot of what went down in their story. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E were all recognizable names to me. I still don’t like the music but appreciate where they came from, and what they did based on pure drive and ambition. Grade: B-

Play

Armagayddon
The Second City Studio Stage in Hollywood puts on this original musical about one Christian couple’s reaction to the Marriage Equality Supreme Court verdict. They get engaged on the day they meet and move to San Rafael, CA. There they join a group of Christians hell-bent on converting homos from their evil ways. It was cute, and we got a few laughs…. Sort of predictable. It is about an hour long. Now playing through April. Grade: C+

DVDs

Annie
The big-screen remake of the classic Broadway musical Annie, brings together Jamie Foxx (as the father figure) and Quvenhané Wallis as the adorable orphan Annie. The songs from the original musical still hold up (many in slightly different arrangements), the newer songs were just OK. The movie has a good cast and a big heart. Not perfect by far, but still worth a rental. Grade: B-

Begin Again
Keira Knightly stars as a up and coming singer-songwriter. Mark Ruffalo stars as the guy who takes on trying to make her a star. Adam Levine stars as a Keira’s ex, who has become a star after the breakup. Includes the Academy-Award nominated song “Lost Stars.” Not much weight to the movie, but a pleasant diversion. Grade: B

Lady Antebellum “Wheels Up Tour”
Filmed in Irvine, CA on their 2015 tour, this concert captures the country trio at their best. Featuring songs from all 5 of their studio albums, plus some inspired cover songs too. They bring out their openers Sam Hunt and Hunter Hayes for some help also. Almost as good as being there. Grade: A-

That’s it for Part I, look for Part 2 next time. Thanking for reading.

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 Kilts lines. They make great gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and more.

Concerts I am Looking Forward to in 2016

As the big music fan that I am, attending concerts is one of my favorite things in life. There is just something about being there in person that cannot be duplicated by watching a show on DVD or listening to it on CD/MP3. So what shows am I looking forward to in 2016? Read on:

Demi Lovato/Nick Jonas
The former “Camp Rock” co-stars are co-headlining the “Future Now” tour. Both were part of the Disney child-star machine that has produced Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. Demi is touring behind her most recent album “Confident” and Nick is stretching out on his first major tour without his brothers since he hit the big-time with “Jealous”. It should be a great show — I hope they do a few “Camp Rock” tunes too.

Rihanna
This one I have been patiently waiting for. Now it is finally happening. The “Anti” tour is her first since the joint tour with Eminem. It is named after the album of the same name that is still to be released, though we did get a few singles last year like “FourFiveSeconds” and “Bitch Better Have My Money.” One of the best female singers of the 2000’s in my opinion.

Adele
This will be one of the biggest tours of the year for sure. She is touring behind her latest blockbuster album “25”. You will get chills hearing her hit those high notes live on songs like “Hello” and “Rolling in the Deep.” Plus, she has a good sense of humor and is known to drop an F-bomb or 2 too.

Bryan Adams
Eighties Canadian rocker Bryan Adams brings his sing-along anthems to theaters this coming summer. He is touring behind his latest release “Get Up.”

Dixie Chicks
It’s been 10 years since they last toured. It is about time. Hopefully a new album will come out before the show. I saw them 2 times previously and they put on a great show — beautiful harmonies and fantastic songs. The tour is dubbed the “DCX Tour MMXVI” and includes a stop at the world-famous Hollywood Bowl.

Kenny Chesney/Miranda Lambert/Sam Hunt
This triple threat tour is going to be one of the hottest shows of the year hitting stadiums across the country. Dubbed the “Spread the Love” tour, it will also feature Old Dominion; as well as Little Big Town and Jake Owen subbing for Miranda and Sam on select shows. Still waiting for a Los Angeles show to be added.

Carrie Underwood
Former “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood is heading out behind her recent “Storyteller” album. After seeing the Blown Away tour on DVD, I can definitely say she puts on a great show.

Justin Bieber
This guy has really impressed me this past year: with his music and his performances. He is definitely back and will be hitting the road in support of his chart-topping album “Purpose.” Hopefully he won’t be playing “Baby Baby Baby.” He’s moved on and is showing us the true star he is.

That’s all for my concert wish list for 2016. Which singers and bands are you looking forward to seeing live this year? I would love to hear from you.

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 Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Concerts I Am Looking Forward To In 2013

Here’s my list of the shows I am looking forward to this year:

Lady GaGa
Lady GaGa has been on tour with the “Born This Way” Ball for awhile now (She was on my list last year). It is finally hitting the US in the first half of the year.Lady GaGa

Rihanna
Well, the tour in 2012 never developed. And she was in the flop movie “Battleship”. She is touring behind her new CD “Unapologetic”, and is sure to include hits from the “Talk That Talk” album too. The new tour called “Diamonds” tour is set to hit the states in March.

Taylor Swift
Her latest CD “Red” is flying off the shelves… and so are the tickets to her latest tour which includes stadium shows in select cities. With her move fully into pop music with this latest CD, I am sure it will be a very theatrical and entertaining evening.

Maroon 5
I tried to get tickets for the 2013 tour, but they sold out very fast. They have been hotter since Adam Levine has been on “The Voice”. Plus supporting acts Owl City and Neon Trees should add to a great evening of live music.

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Concerts I Am Looking Forward To In 2012

In no particular order, the 10 shows I am looking forward to in 2012:

Lady AntebellumLady Antebellum They have arrived at headliner status. Following their breakthrough with “Need You Now” and their wins at the Grammy and other award shows, this country-pop trio is heading out on the road to promote their latest CD “Own the Night.” Support acts include Darius Rucker and Thompson Square. Dates are already on sale.

Kelly Clarkson
The first American Idol winner’s career is still holding strong. Or should I say “Stronger”? After 5 albums, Kelly has a good body of work to pull from as she heads out on the road to promote her latest CD “Stronger.” I’ve seen her twice before and she is a great live performer, I can’t wait for this new tour. Dates are already on sale.

Tim McGraw/Kenny Chesney
Two country hunks on one big stadium tour, count me in. Both big ticket draws on their own, together this is one to not miss. The “Brothers of the Sun” tour promises to be one of the biggest tours of the year. With support from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals as well as Jake Owen. And maybe a Faith Hill appearance too. Dates are set and on sale soon.

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Experience This: Rihanna

Rihanna in ConcertRihanna in Concert
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Staples Center

Loud Tour 2011

Special guests: J Cole, DJ Dummy

Songs performed: Only Girl in the World, Disturbia, Shut Up And Drive, Man Down, Darling Nikki, S&M, Let Me, Skin, Raining Men, Hard, Breakin’ Dishes, Glamorous Life, Run This Town, Live Your Life, Unfaithful, Hate That I Love You, California King Bed, What’s My Name, Rude Boy, Cheers (Drink To That), Don’t Stop The Music, Take A Bow, Love The Way You Lie (Part II), Umbrella

Comments: Fun and flirty Rihanna commanded the stage at the Staples Center for a capacity crowd. She showed why she is one of the hottest acts around these days. She has quite a song catalog for only 23.

After a brief video intro, and watching the 4 large round discs rise off the stage to reveal that they were really video screens, she emerged from the rear of the stage to sing “Only Girl in the World.” She was dressed in a shiny bright blue raincoat, with her dancers also dressed in bright island colors. In the past few years, she has emerged as a true superstar…churning out hit after radio-friendly hit. She has become the “go-to” girl for hip-hop and rap stars if you need someone to sing a memorable hook/chorus. And since the whole Chris Brown incident, she has emerged as a symbol of female empowerment (like Beyonce) and a fashionista too.

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