Live Review: Rihanna — STAPLES Center, Los Angeles
Tue, 09 Apr 2013 07:20:36
"Baby, I'm a rockstar," Rihanna declared from the stage at the sold out STAPLES Center last night.
She's got that right.
In fact, she's one of the last real rockstars left, and she's owning the title like a true champ. Every tour Rihanna launches, she still manages to step up her game and best the last one. Of course, that's tradition for any rockstar worth his or her salt, but she's keeping live music exciting with mind-blowing production and tight performances.
The Diamonds World Tour supporting last year's phenomenal Unapologetic brought together a few worlds for Rihanna—from the towering pop she's known for to reggae flavors to swagged-out hip-hop. She took the stage subtlely in front of a coliseum-style setup, and "Mother Mary" showcased her powerful vocals early on, resounding through the arena potently. Without a blink, she slipped into the funky fresh fashionista futurism of "Phresh Out the Runway" and the sexy come-on "Birthday Cake".
From the stage she smiled, "L.A., I live here now so I know ya'll can get ratchet".
The crowd gladly obliged. Rihanna commanded the stage with the presence of an icon, upholding that rockstar status. During "Numb", guitarist Nuno Bettencourt cranked out a bombastic groove just before leading into an incendiary fret-burning solo. After a seamless changeover, she returned for a reggae-fied "You Da One", "Man Down", and "Rude Boy". Rihanna flawlessly transported the audience down to the Caribbean with slick style and punchy panache, hitting every note along the way.
"Umbrella" brought everyone back to the moment she became one of the biggest stars in the world, but it sounded even better now. Meanwhile, her take on "All of the Lights" flashed brilliantly. "Rockstar 101" tempered more Bettencourt shredding and slasher-inspired visuals complete with Rihanna wielding a chainsaw and axe.
Scaling everything back momentarily, she emerged from the center of the stage in a stunning red dress for soaring renditions of "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)", "Take a Bow", and "Cold Case" flowing within a perfect melody of hits. "We Found The Love" really took flight live, especially with a capacity crowd adding backing vocals, while the triple salvo of "S&M", "Only Girl (In the World)", and "Don't Stop the Music" ignited overwhelming energy throughout the venue and beyond.
By the end of the night, it was clear that not only is Rihanna a rockstar, but she's a legend in her own right unlike anybody else out there.
Were you there?
See our review of Unapologetic here!