While Perth fans had a 40 minute delay before she took the stage for her first Australian show, spare a thought for the Adelaide crowd, who had to endure an 80 minute wait before Rihanna showed her gorgeous face.
When she finally arrived, it was obvious Rihanna had been enjoying a few sherbets backstage. If her glassy eyes didn’t arouse suspicions, then her constant crotch grabbing and lack of actual singing would have given the game away. Not that Rihanna didn’t give her vocal chords a good workout, but throughout the concert, particularly during the first half, she relied on a backing track and the harmonious support of her backup singers, while she concentrated on her dance moves.
Another sign that she’s her own woman was communicated via the set list, with Rihanna devoting the first 10 or so songs to lesser-known numbers and to her reggae orientated material. While it enabled concertgoers a glimpse into what is obviously a passion of hers, it didn’t really get people going, with most quickly losing patience and wondering when the hits would arrive.
‘Rude Boy’ was the first of many classic Rihanna tracks that finally woke the Adelaide crowd from their slumber. A procession of hits followed, including ‘Umbrella’, ‘What’s My Name’ and the powerful ‘What Now’. She even found time to squeeze in her memorable chorus from Kanye West’s ‘All Of The Lights’.
There were also multiple costume changes, with Rihanna donning everything from thigh-high white boots with a black tee, to a yellow, red, black and white spandex type number, to a beautiful red evening gown that had everyone gushing.
Although she continued to skip words, and at times whole lines from songs, the more sober Rihanna got the better her performance became. A medley of ‘Love The Way You Lie (Part II)’, ‘Take A Bow’ and ‘Case Love’ was dynamic, but it was the Calvin Harris-produced ‘We Found Love’ that had fans jumping and singing along. Decked out in a silvery reflective jacket and shorts combo, Rihanna was at her most energetic, dancing all over the stage and getting personal with the crowd by handing out high fives by the barrier.
Whether it was the alcohol or a genuine high from performing, Rihanna was at her best during the second medley of the night. Kicking off with the sexual ‘S&M’, ‘Only Girl (In The World)’ followed, before the club anthem ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ finished things off, finally giving fans a taste of the awesome vocal talents RiRi possesses.
Finishing with the epic ballad ‘Stay’ and the euphoric ‘Diamonds’, Rihanna finally brought things to a close just after midnight, leaving most fans satisfied, if not a little tired.