The Queen of Pop is back with her first live tour since the much maligned Circus, two years ago.
Britney’s Femme Fatale show was just that – one hell of a show. From start to finish the whole concert was gloriously over the top – think lasers, plinths and plenty of cars.
The Louisiana native arrived on stage bang on 9pm through a pair of industrial doors and strutted confidently onto a raised podium to perform Hold It Against Me and Up N’ Down, wearing a sequinned leotard while flanked by dancers dressed as policemen.
Throughout the evening, Britney changed outfits at every opportunity, on each occasion to reveal something skimpier and glitterier than before – be it a pink basque with black lace detail or gold bikini with matching boots.
Spears clearly wants to be seen as a dance floor diva; nine out of the 20 tracks she performed were from her recent Femme Fatale album that saw her move from pop princess to dance floor vamp, with (Drop Dead) Beautiful and Hold It Against Me the highlights.
However there were nods, albeit brief ones, to her pop hits (You Want A Piece of Me, Gimme Me More, Hit Me Baby One More Time, and Toxic to name but a few) from earlier albums, as well as S&M – her recent duet with Rihanna.
Regardless of whether she was singing (or lip synching, it wasn’t always clear) old or new material, the crowd eagerly lapped it all up. For the lone ballad Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know, Spears performed perched 30 feet above the stage on a swing, while A Slave 4 U was sung on a Nile river boat against the backdrop of an ancient Egyptian setting.
The best however, was saved to last: Spears closed her set with the stomper Till The World Ends, where she fought off Ninjas before soaring skywards in a skimpy leotard, strapped to a pair of angel wings. The audience – which included celebs such as The Saturdays’ Mollie King and err, Jedward – went wild with delight, dancing in the aisles.
Britney might not have the best voice in the world and she’s certainly not as sharp or as athletic as she was in her teen queen prime (at times she looked a little lethargic like she was in a dress rehearsal, rather than performing to a packed 02 arena). Nonethless you can’t underestimate her appeal either. Despite the blankness (apart from the obligatory cries of “I love you London”, there was little interaction with the crowd) the showgirl was always in control of her Femme Fatale tour. It marked a triumphant return to form following her troubled twenties.
Forget the raunch: at heart, the star – who turns 30 in December – is an old fashioned entertainer and this polished, professional, perfectly choreographed show was lots of fun. Welcome back Brit.
Britney Spears plays Wembley Arena on Monday night. For tickets call 0844 844 0444 or visit www.livenation.co.uk