After skipping over New Orleans on four consecutive tours, the Bajan pop princess finally stepped on stage in the Crescent City. Back in April, I skipped school and trekked all the way to Houston to see Rihanna on her Diamonds World Tour. Within an hour of checking into the hotel, I got an email saying the concert was cancelled due to illness. A few weeks later, she announced rescheduled dates for the cancelled shows, along with a date in New Orleans. This weekend, my thirst was finally quenched! And let me tell you, it was insane.
On Friday night, I kidnapped my crippled friend Alex (god bless her sprained ankle) and headed to the New Orleans Arena. Part of me didn’t believe the show was actually going to go on, considering my bumpy journey to feed my seemingly insatiable craving for pop. A handful of NBA players, R&B princess of yesteryear Monica, and even it model Cara Delevingne were in attendance.
After an opening set from A$AP Rocky, the adrenaline surged throughout my veins in anticipation. Thirty minutes later and the lights drop to deafening screams and scents of alcohol and marijuana (*eyeroll*) filling the arena. Showtime.
Beaming onto the stage, Rihanna opened the show with “Mother Mary” amidst a kaleidoscope background of Greco-Roman imagery. Throughout the show, she weaved throughout her genre-hopping discography, effortlessly zigzagging from the Caribbean-influenced “Man Down” to the Ginuwine-sampled “Jump” to classic hits like “Umbrella” and “Diamonds.” My absolute favorite segment of the concert came towards the end, when she catapulted face first into her more dance-oriented tracks. Once I heard the familiar synths of “We Found Love,” it was a non-stop vogue off until she disappeared from the stage.
I was quite shocked in how well pop’s eternal it girl turned it out. For me, Rihanna has never been in the caliber as touring giants like Beyonce or Gaga. Within the past few years, her live vocals have begun to nearly match what she lays down in the studio. The lack of over-the-top theatrics was crisp and refreshing. Considering that I was body rolling, singing, and throwing my hairs in the air throughout the entire set list, it was definitely a night to remember. Thanks for not canceling this time, Ri.