Miley Cyrus' Bangerz Tour
With Icona Pop
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Saturday, March 22, 2014
"Woo! Woooooo! I'm in Miami, bitch! I'm gonna fuck Miley Cyrus tonight! Bangerz tour! I'm gonna bang her all night!" shouted an overexcited guy in front of us.
Meanwhile, much like Halloween on South Beach, Ms. Cyrus' Miami gig seemed to give all of the girls an excuse to dress scantily.
Needless to say, ass cheek was everywhere. Some girls even drew their inspiration from Miley's music videos, rocking double hair buns and Chicago Bulls jerseys.
See also: Miley Cyrus' Top Ten Fashion Freakouts
The American Airlines Arena was decorated with large balloons, like some weirdly pervy children's party.
At 7:30 p.m., opening act Icona Pop took to a tiny stage partitioned off from a more elaborate platform reserved for Miley. The Swedish ladies didn't bring much to the table visually, both sporting simple black and white outfits, and performing in front of a similarly black LED screen that spelled out their band name in white.
That said, they did reenact Miley and Robin Thicke's MTV VMAs twerk-hump moment.
The Icona Pop gals certainly seemed to be having fun -- though, in all honesty, they only really strutted around a bit, dancing here and there, never commanding the entire arena's attention.
They sang a short set of songs whose subject matter ranged from "making out with gorgeous guys" to "hanging out with your girlfriend". And then, before diving into their last hit, they thanked Miley, shouting about how she is "so hot and so talented and is definitely the best twerker in Miamiiiiiii!"
Closing out their set, the Swedes donned leather jackets and turned their back to the audience as the song that made them famous -- "I Love It" -- started to blast through the speakers.
The venue was a mess of bouncing heads and flailing arms as the Icona Pop gals let their Billboard charter take over the room. The song itself is undeniable pop gold, with a perfectly crafted hook that is fun to sing and even better to shout.
But "I Love It" ended rather abruptly, with an uncomfortable awkward silence, as the crowd waited for the sound crew to bring the drop back. Instead, the Icona Pop gals were just done. And executing that always depressing move, they had to urge people to cheer for them, inaudibly waving and bowing goodbye. It was a weird ending.
Almost immediately after their name faded from the screen, fans started to chant for Miley, which seemed pretty rude.
As we waited for the star herself to come out, the warm-up DJ dropped all of the hip-hop and rap tracks of the moment. A young white girl with braces sang along to Lil Wayne's "Love Me," mumbling the lyrics, "I'm on that good kush and alcohol/I got some bad bitches I can call," while standing beside her uncomfortable looking dad.
That same dad did later bop his head to "Ain't Worried About Nothin'" by French Montana, though. And really, there's nothing quite like a room full of 20,000 mostly young white girls singing, "nigga, I ain't worried 'bout nothin," over and over again.
Finally, around 8:30 p.m., it was time.
Balloons fell from the rafters, drifting toward the fans, who slapped and batted them about the arena. A floating wide-eyed Miley face crept onto the screen and the crowd went utterly insane.
The animated face then opened its mouth, from which an actual hole in the screen would appear, as a giant pink tongue slide unraveled. Of course, when it reached the floor, Miley appeared at the top of it, giving the audience a well-rehearsed wave as she slid down her own now-infamous tongue.
Clad in shoulder pads and a sparkly two piece that left nothing to the imagination, Miley and her crew of colorful mascots (including the six-foot-tall Amazon Ashley and a little person) continued to twerk about the stage in a not-so-surprising manner. The night of ass slapping, air grinding, and constant crotch grabbing had officially begun.
After her first wardrobe change into another skimpy two piece, Miley twerked into "4x4," along with dancers dressed in glittery cowgirl outfits to compliment the square dance-y theme.
Then an actual live band rose from beneath the stage to distract us from another one of many (eight?) costume changes.
After a musical interlude, a large Parental Advisory warning flashed across the LED screen as Miley rose from beneath the stage on a golden SUV, wearing a deep-cut bedazzled leotard covered in weed plant patterns (of course) as the intro to "Love Money Party" blasted over the speakers.
Miley got her grind on all over the place with one leg in the air, trying to give a camera man the best crotch shot she could. Later, she shook her ass for the camera, giving herself a wedgie to reveal just as much cheek as possible, while a white guy in a huge Big Sean puppet mask danced around her. She then proceeded to shower herself with money.
We get it Miley. This is a big-budget tour. You're currently raking in the stacks.
She talked to fans about loving Miami, and told the crowd to "do whatever the fuck you want" despite angry security guards' rules.
After another few costume changes, Miley showed her vocal chops with tracks "My Darlin'" and "Maybe You're Right."
If there wasn't some weird animation flashing on her LED screens, photo after photo of Miley herself were thrown up on the jumbotron as she strutted around beneath it. There was a hell of a lot of her in non-clothes already, so we pretty much got the point without the aid of super sexy cool photo shoots with Terry Richardson or something.
At one point, Miley took a drink from her water bottle and spit the water out on front-row fans, because why wouldn't she do that? She did it a few times, actually, as her followers seemed to practically beg for it, which was sort of unsettling. Didn't the Beibs get a bunch of shit for spitting on fans? But these girls welcomed it?
It's a strange world we live in, everybody.
Later, as prelude to "Adore You," Miley asked her fans to make out with their boyfriends, girlfriends, and "friends you've always wanted to experiment with" during the song. She added that those using the most tongue would be shown on a kiss cam. And in another example of Miley's kinda frightening degree of influence, girls everywhere began to make out as soon as they saw their faces up on the big screen.
Two approximately 14-year-old girls were filmed, and one of them even had braces. It seemed very Girls Gone Wild and was pretty uncomfortable. Now, I'm all for some good hearted tonguing, but the whole thing was fucking cringe-worthy. I guess you could say something about sexual freedom or whatever, but these girls were doing it out of weirdly dominant pop-star peer pressure, all for their 15 seconds of fame.
Before that, a giant Siberian husky floated onto the stage, whose leg Miley humped in nearly assless chaps during one of her older, pre-Bangerz tracks, "Can't Be Tamed."
After another stage exit, a video of Ms. Cyrus in bondage played, showing her striking "sexy" poses for the camera as Alt-J's "Fitzpleasure" soundtracked it. By the end of the clip, the pop star and her band appeared at the opposite end of the arena atop a small stage.
There she showcased more of her singing abilities, claiming that this was her "favorite part of the show." During her time there, she covered Coldplay, Bob Dylan, Lana Del Rey, and Dolly Parton, while simultaneously taking Instagram videos of herself and the crowd as fans' bras fluttered onto the stage.
To be fair, though, the undergarment throwing only happened after she made an off-handed comment about how other crowds would've already been doing such things at that point in the show, claiming Miami wasn't "turnt up enough." Oh, another peer pressure moment from Miley.
Next, she encouraged the fans to flash, saying, "Getting your boobs out makes everything better. Bitches love titties, guys love titties, we're all happy!" Which is a super awesome message!
Another costume change and she was back in a tiny white two piece and a large yellow furry jacket. Then after a performance of the kinesthetic "Someone Else," Miley mounted a giant wiener dog that took to the skies. Because, of course ...
"The louder you get, the higher I go, and you know I like to get high!" she yelled, stradding that hot dog, floating through the air.
After a short trip above her screaming fans, Miley drifted toward the LED screen which opened like the golden gates. She waved goodbye like a disgraced beauty-pageant princess. And the gleaming portal closed behind her.
But predictably, the pop star encored with her biggest Bangerz singles: "We Can't Stop," and the power ballad "Wrecking Ball," which once again showed off her solid vocal abilities. There was another short pause before the show finally ended with "Party in the U.S.A.," another older, pre-Bangerz song that she seemed visibly bored with.
All in all, Miley's tour definitely offers impressive production value, and it's solidified her status as a colossal star, whether it's for the right reasons or not. Her power over young girls is immense, and that was proven throughout the show. But is her influence a terribly bad thing? It seems almost futile to ignore that pop culture was going down this path with or without the help of Miley Cyrus' tongue wagging and groin grabbing.
In any case, the 21 year old has a powerful voice, and she will definitely do what she wants to.
Miley Cyrus' Setlist:
-"Love Money Party"
-"Maybe You're Right"
-"Do My Thang"
-"Can't Be Tamed"
-"Rooting For My Baby"
-"You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go"
(Bob Dylan cover)
-"Summertime Sadness" (Lana Del Rey cover)
-"The Scientist" (Coldplay cover)
-"Jolene" (Dolly Parton cover)
-"On My Own"
-"We Can't Stop"
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-"Party in the U.S.A."
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