Music review: Rihanna's raunchy Millennium Stadium show in Cardiff fails to hit the thigh notes
Forget pyrotechnics, dancers and crazy hydaulics - Rihanna's Diamonds tour is essentially one long celebration of her lady-parts
Massive stadium shows by massive stadium-filling pop stars tend to come with a concept. When fans are paying upwards of £60 a ticket, it pays to put in some effort and go all out on spectacle.
Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Madonna festoon their shows with fireworks, crazy hydraulics, “meaningful” am-dram narratives and a vast supporting cast of choirs, dancers and circus performers. Rihanna, who has had more No 1 singles than Beyoncé and Gaga combined, does none of this. Rihanna’s concept is her vagina.
Given that the mega-selling Barbadian pop star spends a large proportion of her leisure time tweeting close-ups of her arse cheeks to her 30 million followers, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that her crotch gets top billing here.
She strokes it, she thrusts it, she jiggles it, she spanks it and then she strokes it some more. The Diamonds tour is essentially one long celebration of Rihanna’s lady-parts. Rumour has it that, at the end of this tour, her vagina will launch a solo career. It would be churlish at this stage not to wish it well.
And the music? Seven albums in seven years has ensured that a Rihanna set isn’t short of hits, even if some of them are lost in the sticky sludge of trashy Euro-techno/R&B fusion.
Her set is divided into five acts, broken up with costume changes and apparently reflecting the various facets of her career (who knew?). It opens in muted fashion with the singer kneeling in a black cape, studded thigh-high boots and hotpants in front of a female statue on a video screen while singing “Mother Mary”. It’s a rare moment of calm in the relentless and ultimately wearying bump ‘n’ grind- fest to come, which reaches its apogee in “Rude Boy” (“Come here rude boy, is you big enough?”) and “Jump" ("Ride it my pony/My saddle is waitin"). Throughout all this Rihanna’s face remains impassive and inscrutable.
There are moments, however, when she lets the sex-bomb mask slip. For the stomping, Nineties-style raveathon “We Found Love” she emerges in a sequin-encrusted, dollar bill-smothered puffa jacket and matching trainers that EastEnders’ Bianca Jackson would deem too tacky, punching the air and bouncing into the crowd to commune with fans. It’s here that the show finally comes alive. Rihanna breaks into a smile and her nether regions take a well-earned break.
Touring to 16th July
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
- 3 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election