And then, following the obligatory lightning storm that is every major pop star's grand entrance (flashing images, buckets of dry ice, etc), she arrives. Wearing a blue coat. And very little else.
Ah yes, it just wouldn't be The Rihanna Show without the raunchiness. Or would it? Simply put, the woman is crazy about sex. Or at least, that's what Rihanna: The Performer would have you believe. If Rihanna ain't shaking her ass in high heels, banging on about the way she likes it ("in the air", apparently) she's performing a lap dance for one unsuspecting female member of the audience. She'll even dress up as a man, too, before stripping down and doing it all over again. For the fun of it.
Throw in a floating piano and a giant pink cannon, and you have one of the most expensive exotic dance shows in the world. Oh, and there's the music, too -- an over-produced mish-mash of R&B fused dance pop. But hey, it somehow works, and there's no denying the foot-stomping appeal of Disturbia and Please Don't Stop The Music. But is it any good? Is it bad? Is it all a bit too much? Well, yes, yes, and you'd better bloody believe it.
Indeed, two hours in her company will leave even the most diehard fan a little exhausted. Save for the few times that Rihanna manages to stand still in order to deliver a much-needed ballad or two, there's barely a moment to breathe.
I'm no prude but, seriously, it wouldn't do her any harm to, well, tone things down a little. We get it, Rihanna -- you like sex. You made that perfectly clear when you tied yourself up and let your dancers rub their hands all over you. But it isn't necessary.
And if anyone is of the opinion that Rihanna: The Stripper is better off the way she is, just look at the reaction she gets when she ditches the groping in favour of some good old-fashioned showmanship: running around, banging on a mini drum kit, singing in tune -- it works wonders, you know.
In short, the good girl gone bad image is getting tired. But there's just enough evidence here to suggest that Rihanna might very well have something to fall back on. HHHII