Britney Spears has been called a multitude of things – Among them, the queen of pop and a performance artist. She showcased the polished side of her many personalities in front of a sold out crowd at the Hp Pavilion in San Jose. Her show contained a massive stage, two solid opening acts and a barrage of visual effects. It was just what her fans were expecting and they made their approval evident with ear splitting screams.
Rapper extraordinaire Nikki Minaj kicked the night off. Minaj is slowly proving that she can be comfortable in any situation. The female Weezy flew through a 45 minute set which showed off her singing, rhyming and even her acting skills. It is an arena tour after all, so Nikki was sure to include a storyline which revolved around one of her alternate personalities named Roman. Although it really didn’t work, the music made up for it.
Minaj has a good balance of straight up rap and pop hits that are featured on Kids Bop albums. Fans of one side of Minaj aren’t necessarily fans of the opposite side. Somehow, she was able to bring her songbook and personalities together for a live set that was entertaining.
The countdown started 30 minutes before Spears emerged on stage. Another feat Britney has accomplished: she can create a frenzy without even entering a building. Finally the clock expired and Britney appeared center stage in one of dozens of costumes to be worn throughout the night. Spears wasn’t alone on that stage. She had a crew of dancers following every move she made. Other Spears employees were dancing on separate tiers of the massive set up and catwalk while Britney launched into one of her dozens of hit songs.
The fact that Spears has kept herself relevant enough to continue to sell out arena tours is a startling feat. Say what you will about the songstress but one thing is for sure. She knows how to move tickets. She also knows how to put on a show. Two years ago she had a string of sold out gigs in the Bay Area that featured a circus theme. This year was a little different. But the atmosphere still had a circus feel. Whether that was accidental or not it merely added to the spectacle.
Face value of each ticket was also startling. For a premium seat fans were expected to shell out upwards of 300 dollars. Which they happily did. Scalpers were having a field day in the parking lots surrounding the venue as tickets quickly became a hot commodity. This is expected every time Britney comes into town and she makes sure to give everyone their money’s worth.
Sure, at times Spears seemed a bit robotic. Like her head wasn’t in the game. After doing this for so long the allure of a cavernous stadium full of screaming people may have worn off. But when Spears lifted up from below the stage straddling a giant guitar and ended up thirty feet above her admiring fans, it was a pure Britney moment. One of many highlights. The music may be annoying to some, dance club fodder that will soon be forgotten. But for millions of people the spectacle and grandiosity of a Spears concert is worth the price of admission. And Britney never lets her fans down.