Swarms of people filled the sidewalks waiting to get inside—both young and old, most in similar wardrobes (stiletto pumps, check; white button-down, check; plaid miniskirt, check). Fans crowded nearby restaurants, some of which played music only by the very artist causing all of the hoopla: Ms. Britney Spears.
Spears brought her Circus Tour—her first full tour in five years—to the Verizon Center last night, and the scene in the arena was circus-like indeed. Three circular stages mimicked a three-ring circus, complete with aerialists, clowns, and contortionists. The Pussycat Dolls opened the show with a solid set, but nothing could satiate fans but the ringmaster herself.
Following a somewhat entertaining video opening featuring gossip blogger Perez Hilton as a crazed Queen Elizabeth I, Spears descended on the stage. The excitement in the audience was piercing, and it clearly stemmed from dedicated fans who had been waiting for this moment since the pop star lost her way with a public meltdown two years ago.
While it’s obvious that Britney’s got her groove back—dance numbers brought back memories of her early days—she still seemed to rely on lip-synching. But her fans know that about her by now, and it didn’t make them any less entertained by her choreography and flashy outfits. There were even a few magic tricks and an aerial stunt where she’s suspended in the air, held up only by two dancers whose legs are interlocked.
Highlights included a Bollywood-style dance number to her hit with Madonna, “Me Against the Music,” and a remixed version of the song that brought her to fame, “ . . . Baby One More Time.” Overall, the show was pretty risqué for a tween idol—from the nude body suit with black sparkles that she wore while performing “Breathe on Me” (where she and her dancers gave a lap dance to a fan who whose hands were tied to a couch) to the booty shorts and handcuffs she sported during the encore, “Womanizer.”
Spears didn’t address the audience much, aside from a few greetings. Her personality did come through at the end, though, when the Louisiana native gleefully shouted, “Do-si-do!” before she and her dancers did just that while exiting the stage.
Say what you want about her—the girl’s got people rooting for her, and there’s no denying that Britney’s well on her way back into the hearts of the people who loved her after she first uttered those words “Oh baby, baby.”