I have not been quiet about my absolute love for Miley's song "We Can't Stop". I love pop music and I get incredibly frustrated with people who are so quick to dismiss a good pop song because the person singing it didn't write it or is song by some sort of "pop tart". I understand just not liking a song. There is a lot of music a lot of people love that I just don't understand. But the dismissal I hear about Miley has less to do with her songs and more to do with her sticking her tongue out all of the time and being "raunchy". Which is stupid. As I know most of those same people adored Madonna back in the day when she was the raunchy one, slithering around in a sexed up wedding dress on the floor of the MTV Video Music Awards.
I'm also not going to lavish praise on Miley's catalog of songs because there is a lot of shit there. A lot. But when my friend and I posted on Facebook that we were going to this show - or free, people were perplexed. Why? Why would you do something like that??? I thought you had good taste in music.
Why? Why would we? Because it's fun. And it was so much fun.
Our tickets were in a suite pretty close the stage. There was free beer and food. The night was already off to a good start.
Then Miley appeared...
...out of an image of her own face on a tongue slide.
From the very first moment this show was all about the fun. The raunch levels that people were so aghast about were so very minimal. To me, she seemed like a woman completely self-aware about the image she partially created and has had partially built up around her by everyone else. On the giant screen at the back of the stage, during costume changes and dance interludes, were videos seemingly mocking her own image. Lots of tongue sticking out.
Miley herself appeared confident and in charge. She owned the stage. She entertained. Yes, she did it in high-cut leotards, but so what? Yes she grabbed her crotch a few times, but so what? So did Michael Jackson and Madonna. So do countless other male pop stars. I spent my tween years lusting after 20-something New Kids on the Block members literally thrusting their crotches in the faces of teenage (and younger) girls much to the delight of said girls and their mothers. Where was the uproar?
I was only familiar with three of Miley's songs going into the show: "We Can't Stop", "Wrecking Ball", and "Party in the USA" - though the latter I'd only heard maybe once - and all of these songs came in at the encore. But I still enjoyed the show. She did play a series of covers on a smaller stage: Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe", Outkast's "Hey Ya", Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and another I was not familiar with and they were fairly decent stripped down covers. She really can sing. I think it would benefit her greatly to sing more softly and play with her voice a little more, but the music she sings doesn't really allow for that.
The show was one big spectacle for sure, but I mean that in a good way. At one pointed I tweeted that I felt like I was in a bag of skittles. Bright colors bouncing along everywhere. Puppets and dancing. It was ridiculous, in the best way.
You see her rollin', you be hatin'.
On the big screen, completely covered.
She requested we turn our phones into flashlights. I don't know how to do that. Looked cool, though.
Giant dog statue. Because she can't be tamed.
Pre-encore departure via giant hotdog.
"Party in the USA" grand finale.