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What do fireworks, whips, chains and a pink convertible with a stripper pole all have in common?
Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale World Tour, naturally.
Spears pulled out all the stops Thursday night at Power Balance Pavilion during the sold-out first performance on her 56-show tour.
While backstage minutes before showtime, Spears expressed her excitement over the start of her tour to her Facebook fans:
“It’s opening night BITCH!!!!!!!!”
The tour’s opener, up-and-coming female rapper Nicki Minaj, set the action-packed tone for the evening with a shoot-out scene opposite a ninja-like character. Minaj set the wardrobe bar high, donning a platinum blond wig, neon green shoes and black spandex with PVC-like detailing a la Lady Gaga.
She revved up the crowd’s energy with “Save Me” and “Moment for Life,” along with Young Money’s “Bed Rock.”
The audience vocalized their approval for Minaj’s spitfire rhymes but anxiously awaited Spears’ entrance. Near-hysteria broke out when Spears finally took the stage. The mostly female crowd erupted in deafening screams that sounded more like an audience of middle-schoolers at a Justin Bieber concert.
Her 22-song set pleased old and new die-hard fans alike. The show opened and closed with current hits, “Hold It Against Me” and “Till the World Ends” respectively and was sprinkled with classics like “...Baby One More Time,” “Toxic” and “Womanizer.”
Lesser-known but well-received was the body-thumping and appropriately titled single “Big Fat Bass” and the exclusive “Up N’ Down” from the deluxe version of her album “Femme Fatale.”
In typical Spears fashion, the flawless choreography and barely there wardrobe oozed sexuality throughout the entire show. Her costumes left little to the imagination, with bedazzled bras and panties-a-plenty, rear end-skimming cut-off shorts and a plethora of sequins and lace.
To allow Spears time for her multiple wardrobe changes, a film series played intermittently between the sets. In the short videos, a stalker-like character spies on Spears’ alter-egos through surveillance cameras. She outsmarts her would-be captor in perfect timing for her next song.
During “I’m a Slave 4 U,” a nipple-clamped “slave” (presumably the stalker) donning a ball, gag and other bondage gear, was whipped and tortured in a naughty video montage on the big screen.
Spears’ set designer clearly worked overtime preparing over-the-top props and stage effects for the tour. Along with smoke and lights, a swing hoisted Spears into the air and a people-mover created a floating effect. An oversized guitar and speakers fit for King Kong, motorcycles and pyrotechnics completed the visual ecstasy.
Spears ended the night by inviting pre-selected fans onstage to dance. With fireworks in the background and confetti cannons showering the audience, the jaw-dropping show ended with club hit “Till the World Ends.”
On a high from a successful tour kick-off performance, Spears posted another status after the show:
“Can't sleep. WAY too much adrenaline right now. Sacramento was on fire tonight...!”
A decade after her first hit, Spears is still on fire too. She did it again.
Spears will tour the United States until her Raleigh, N.C., show on Aug. 25. She will take a month-long break before heading to Europe, ending the tour in Portugal on Nov. 9.
Photo credit: Randy Miramontez, Randy's Fine Art Photography