Bringing her Las Vegas concert residency to England’s Manchester Arena on August 18; Britney Spears relies on her established iconic status and legions of super fans to carry the show.
Since 2011’s Femme Fatale World Tour, UK fans haven’t been able to see much of this superstar unless they travelled state side. Needless to say, the arena was packed with millennials who grew up listening to one of pop’s most famous princess. At every corner, fans recreated their own version of Britney’s famous looks. Ranging from the school girl outfit of ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ to the latex outfit showcased in ‘Toxic’, this was a night designed to please her die-hard fans.
Opening for the show, Pitbull ran through his sets with his own hits – filling the arena with four on the floor beats like Timber ft Kesha and On The Floor ft Jennifer Lopez, which got everyone on their feet and raising their drink.
While Britney’s last album, Glory, has garnered favourable reviews from critics; it hasn’t been able to generate the same buzz as her previous albums. And it seems like her team is well aware of this fact. The selection of songs on this tour play more like a greatest hit album that celebrates Britney Spears’ long reigning career. Throughout the one-and-a-half-hour show, the pace never felt slow as it was filled with one upbeat song after the other. However, towards the end of the night, I was left fatigued without any ballads that would help balance the show out with more intimate moments.
As one of pop’s icon, Britney doesn’t need to do more than walk to the edge of the stage to earn screams. Although allegations of lip-syncing have been present throughout her career, the selling point of a Britney Spears concert is in her showmanship and stamina to keep up with her professional back up dancer. Even more evident at this concert, what the audience craves is Britney’s presence. At one point, the entire arena filled in Madonna’s verse for Me Against the Music; a testament to how well everyone knew her catalogue.
At age 37, her dancing is an intense, non-stop tour de force. Between being lifted by dancers during Womanizer, flipping her hair during Boys, thrusting her waist, pole dancing and even twerking during I’m a Slave 4 U; it was like watching someone doing extreme cross fit. You can forgive her sometimes robotic, off beat dance and her nervous tic of constantly tying her hair. The dance interlude to Missy Elliot’s songs does seem slightly out of place but it was still overall enjoyable.
One of the best moments of the show was when she played her anthem Stronger. With lyrics “My loneliness ain’t killing me no more. Now I’m stronger than yesterday, now it’s nothing but my way,” it’s as if she’s reassuring her fans that while she has fallen she is also on the rise to being healthy, happy and alive.
Check out Britney’s next shows on her official website.