So the Princess of Pop, arguably the biggest star in the world, was coming to Adelaide. I had to be there. Her music is what I and my generation grew up with, and as a frequent concert-goer I needed to have the biggest scalp in my program collection! I’d heard rumours of miming but it didn’t really faze me. Truthfully, for me the extent of it was only realised after her first Australian shows in Perth were mauled by the media. But it turns out that was the least of my problems.
I thought $150 was a lot for a concert (which it is, but in this day and age with no-one actually buying albums anymore, shipping costs, etc. I’m starting to not blame them). When I heard seating for Britney was $200 for seats fairly high up I was floored. I should’ve known here that she can do whatever she likes and get away with it. But because Adelaide was a late addition on the tour, to be safe (for fear of them selling out) we bought pre-sale seats. So that brings it to $220 each. I was expecting a knockout show. Should’ve known better…
I’m with the girls (Jana, Penny, Helen and Demi) as we get to our seats; the stage was fairly big so we thought the view was good. Until we sit down. They had four big black constructions hanging (for lighting presumably), one of which blocked most of the centre stage. Not happy Jan. We figured the big circular screen would help us and we’d be alright. The show starts, and it’s all exciting. Then the screen fires up and we can’t see that either. They positioned the screens wrong so anyone who had the black things in their way couldn’t even make use of them. We suddenly see girls rushing down the steps to watch in the aisles. So believe me when I say it wasn’t just us. Later on Penny and I get told off for sitting there – and I turn and go: “Well we can’t see a thing. We’ve paid $220 and we can’t see centre stage!”
The poor lady had been moving people already and she said we could go down in GA but we’d have to surrender our seats. In GA we would’ve seen sweet f.a. so we didn’t bother. Because Miss Spears wasn’t singing, we wanted to see her dance. And we did. And she was okay at it. But what made me personally kerfuzzled was how she pranced around half the time and then took forever off-stage in between songs when it wasn’t even a costume change. I don’t reckon she made it to 90 minutes, we couldn’t figure out if she was singing ‘Everytime’ live (because we were negotiating the move and the backing track was loud) and we couldn’t hear her properly above the music when she said something like “This is the last stop on the tour and I’m so glad I could share it with you” (which was pretty much the extent of her interaction).
However: I made sure I danced to ‘Toxic’ (because I wasn’t going to sit down for the entire thing for the amount I paid) - and made Helen dance with me, the choreography was pretty good and it was a real show. The legless lady flipping around on the trampoline in the pre-show was crazy and the lady on the beam was incredible. The awesome montage of her clips on the screen towards the end showed her staying power in the pop world and the whole thing had a slightly creepy feel to it. But for all that I think Penny put it best in our post-show debrief: it was a good show but it felt a bit flat. Like she didn’t want to really be there. The question that burns most in my mind is this: she knows she’s the biggest star in the world, for right and wrong reasons… does she think she’s copping out her fans by miming? Although when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, as Helen said it’s all money-spinning. If she cared enough about her fans she’d have a less extravagant show and sing for them. That’s just how I see it. So the criticism can be justified. Perhaps Adelaide was jipped because it was a late addition, but for the amount of people that struggled to see, it was poorly planned out. But I’m honestly glad I can say I’ve seen her – in what I think will be her only Australian tour. After all the criticism she’s copped, I’d be extremely surprised if she ever came back.