On August 12, R&B/pop singer Rihanna took New Yorkers on a journey through her world, when she brought her show on her Last Girl on Earth Tour at Madison Square Garden. The tour has been performing throughout some of the biggest venues in the US and throughout Europe, playing before thousands of fans, in a effort to promote the singer’s latest album “Rated R”.
After opening acts Travis McCoy and Ke$ha opened the show, the evening’s headlining main attraction Rihanna made her grand entrance shortly before 10 pm. Rihanna’s entrance was marked by a introduction video clip which showed Rihanna in a dream state, while her song Madhouse played in the background. As the video played words flashed across the screen stating that the setting for the show was based on both Rihanna’s dreams and nightmares. Suddenly the screen lifted to reveal another LED screen which displayed burning mannequins as the intro music to Russian Roulette began to play, and as the screen split Rihanna emerged standing atop a slightly raised platform in a outfit that lit up in red LED light’s performing the track. By the song’s end the stage was filled with dancers holding fake light up guns, and a depiction of a exploding heart on-screen during the climatic ending. After a quick costume change into a pink outfit, Rihanna launched into her single Hard from her latest album Rated R, sitting a top a pink army tank at the song’s climax.
Throughout the almost two hour show Rihanna treated fans to performances of songs from each of her four albums, integrating theatrical choreography and vivid use of imagery and sets ranging from lifts, the pink army tank, pyrotechnics and other props. At one point early on in the show during her performance of Disturbia the singer composed a scenario seemingly inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, trying to escape from monster-like dancers. Another point of note that Rihanna displayed is just how her image and sound has changed over the years with rock tinged versions of her reggae pop classics “Let Me”, and “S.O.S.Lastly another unique aspect of the show was besides showing off her performing skills the singer managed to show off other talents such as guitar playing during Rockstar 101, and drum playing during her rendition of Sheila E’s Glamorous Life.
Some of the strongest numbers in the show by far were the opening with Russian Roulette,FireBomb,Rockstar 101, Rehab, Rude Boy and the finale of Umbrella. The sheer creativity in putting together the show’s scenery and choreography along with song arrangements moving from midtempo to fast to slow, then back to fast paced tracks is what helped elevate the tour along with Rihanna’s spirit. Although the performer may have been a little nervous performing her first headlining show at Madison Square Garden, she didn’t show it, and took time out to thank fans for coming to support her and helped her sell out the 20,000 plus seat venue showing not only her gratitude, but a bit of humbleness as well. Also the singer managed to show that she is a good live singer and could hold her own headlining her own show, her vocals stood out most on Russian Roulette, and some of the other slowly numbers like Unfaithful and Take a Bow.One big surprise however may have been the lack of guest appearances, in which most fans were expecting the singer to bring out rapper Jay-Z during her performance of Run This Town, but on another note the rapper was performing at a special basketball show at Radio City Music Hall, which is most likely the reason for his absence. All in all Rihanna’s Last Girl on Earth show at Madison Square Garden was a unique experience that was enjoyable.