by MIKE CHAIKEN
Let me tell you a story about myself.
I like the music of Britney Spears.
There, I said it.
Yes, I like metal music. I like old school punk rock. I like R&B. I like the usual array of critic’s darlings.
But Britney is a guilty pleasure.
I once had a girlfriend who found out I had several Britney CDs in my collection, including her greatest hits collection. She threatened to break up with me if I didn’t toss the Britney CDs. The “Baby One More Time” diva was just too uncool for her.
The girlfriend is gone .My Britney albums have now been transferred to my iPhone.
That should tell you something
So, when I had the opportunity to review Britney Spears at the Mohegan Sun on July 15, I was stoked to notch off another item from my concert bucket list.
Was it worth my time? You betcha.
Yes, I will note that Britney for the most part lip synced her vocals throughout the night. However, in the pop universe, this is not that unusual. Madonna, Janet Jackson, Fifth Harmony, and other pop stars I have seen in concert have taken the lip sync route. For the fans of artists like that, it doesn’t really matter. It’s more about the experience, being in the same room with their favorite stars, and bragging rights among their friends.
(The fans on this Sunday were true fans. You should have seen the faces of those who were walked closer and closer to the stage by ushers. They were beside themselves with Britney ecstasy.)
Britney’s current tour, which has no opening act, is more about the spectacle. And the show was positively decadent and over-the-top.
First of all, Britney and her dancers were moving non-stop at full speed from opening number (“Work Bitch”) to the encore (“Till the World Ends”). There was so much dancing on the part of Britney and her crew, I was exhausted just watching her. Surprisingly, except for costume changes where everyone must have taken a breath and downed a gallon of water but the band, Britney kept up with her dancers.
And this non-stop dancing is why– despite the naysayers– Britney had to use a little electronic help with her vocals. There is simply no way physically to sing consistently and with power while engaging in that much physical exertion.
There was an artistic choice here by Britney– did she give the fans a show or a vocal demonstration? Britney and her crew opted to give the fans a show.
This definitely was a show with a capital “S.” Britney’s team spared no expense—between video projections, special effects, costume, fabulous choreography and dancers, and a cracker jack band.
And it was all in support of Britney’s many, many hits over the years such as “…Baby One More Time,” “Oops!… I Did It Again,” “I’m A Slave 4 U,” “Toxic,” etc.
Britney had to know her show was primarily going to attract the faithful. And she could have coasted her way through the 90 minutes on stage.
But, Britney made sure that she gave the fans something to remember and to talk about.
I give Britney Spears at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville four out of four stars.