BY: FRANCISCO FLORES
Last week, Miley Cyrus embarked on the Bangerz World Tour. After a 2013 takeover, the tour gained momentum as Miley continued to shock the world with her sexualized antics and erratic behavior. As a Miley fan for years, I supported her actions even though the majority of people found it rather disturbing. Back in October when she released her current album, Bangerz, I gave the album a track-by-track review, ultimately praising her new hip-hop infused sound and new identity. Naturally, when the tour to support the album was announced, I bought tickets right away to see the Miley live in concert. The third show of the Bangerz Tour was held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The arena was decked out in bright colored balloons creating arches while others hung from the ceiling.
Sky Fierra and Icona Pop are serving as the opening acts for the North-American leg of the tour. Sky Fierra took the stage promptly at 7 p.m. Unfortunately, her set list had very little impact on the crowd. Her songs did not fit the party vibe Miley aimed for. Fierra’s sound is more of a rock-pop sound, but they did little to pump up the crowd. Audience members focused more on their Instagram accounts rather than watch her perform.
Once Icona Pop took the stage, the crowd was ready to party. The electro-pop female duo played jam after jam, keeping the entire crowd on their feet. Most of their songs sounded the same, but considering their base-powered dance tracks echo that of their biggest single, the audience was not disappointed. They ended their set list with the 2013 hit, “I Don’t Care.”
Miley hit the stage around 9 p.m. She opened the show sliding out of a 50-foot slide that resembled a tongue which came out of a huge Miley head. She went straight into performing “SMS (Bangerz)” while the crowd went wild. Britney Spears’ part in the song was mimicked by a little person with a Britney head cutout dancing around the stage.
The first half of the show was filled everything that Miley embodies today: Sex, drugs, and not caring what people think. The arena filled with the smell of marijuana as Miley sang “Love Money Party.” There was no shortage of crotch-grabs and heavy body contact with backup dancers from Miley. She also slapped her vagina about eight times within a 20 minute period, which while unnecessary, was actually pretty funny to watch.
Miley steered clear of earlier music from her previous albums. Besides two songs, most of the set list consisted of Bangerz along with a few covers. Miley joined the crowd about halfway through the show on a smaller, more intimate stage to sing three songs. She sang a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and a cover of Outcast’s “Hey Ya!” Video I shot of “Hey Ya!” is above.
For her latest single, “Adore You,” Miley took a page out of sports games and created her own kiss cam. She instructed people to make out vigorously and to not hold back on the tongue. People definitely went for it as couples in the crowd were put on camera. The audience went wild when a gay couple was put on camera and showed their love for each other. Miley and her fans’ support for equality and made this one of the most memorable moments of the show.
Miley ended her show with “Someone Else,” a track featured on Bangerz. In true concert fashion, though, she returned minutes later for an encore of her three biggest hits. She began with “We Can’t Stop,” which was inaudible as the audience sang along at the top of their lungs. She then left and returned to sing “Wrecking Ball” with the same output from the audience. She ended her three-song encore with the performance of the night. She brought out all the stops for “Party in the USA,” including dancers dressed as national monuments, confetti and fireworks.
Overall, the concert was everything I expected it to be. There was an abundance of sexual innuendo, a light smell of weed throughout the arena and die-hard fans dancing their asses off. Though many people continue to scold Miley for her unpopular behavior, there is no doubt that her infectious music and amazing performing chops won’t earn her a top spot for one of the biggest entertainers of the year.