Miley Cyrus’s concert at Bridgestone Arena was both naughty and nice

The singer's latest on stage performance had some PG-13 appropriate moments, and some not.
Miley Cyrus performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena. Courtesy Donn Jones / Invision
Miley Cyrus performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena. Courtesy Donn Jones / Invision

Miley Cyrus made her delayed-due-to-illness return to the town where she grew up, bringing a flying hot dog, a dwarf dressed as the Liberty Bell, a dozen recognisable hits, a taunt to the girls who beat her up in school and a lot of inappropriate touching.

Drawing a crowd of mostly young women – and a hefty number of mums – the show was a little bit pop concert, a little bit late-night pay cable and a little bit great.

Two twentysomething women with a gift for arts and crafts arrived at Cyrus’s homecoming concert with identical bedazzled shirts that read “RIP Hannah Montana”.

Look no further than that for the official theme to Cyrus’s Bangerz Tour, a pastiche of weird culture that plays a lot like a YouTube channel devoted to absurdist performance art.

The surprising thing, after the former teenage TV star raised such a lather last year with a highly memorable MTV Video Music Awards appearance, was how tame the show actually is.

It’s true that Nashville is a pretty quiet town. And sure, Cyrus does perform some risque acts on stage. But the woman whose twerking and foam finger started a national discussion balanced her naughty images and saucier choreography with messages espousing personal freedom and moments of pop perfection.

For the most part, the night – her fifth gig since restarting a US tour that was postponed for more than three months after an allergic reaction to antibiotics – was PG-13, filled with images that are unavoidable on the internet, where much of her audience spends its time.

Cyrus gave something of a history lesson in over-the-top moments in pop music. And to be clear, there were a lot of raunchy moments during the two-and-a-half-hour, 20-plus song set.

But there were also a lot of impressive moments where Cyrus showed her growing prowess as an entertainer. She pushed her voice to the edge at times while holding the attention of 16,000 people with just a microphone and had mothers and daughters singing every word with the same gusto on major hits such as Wrecking Ball and Party in the USA.

Those were the moments that provided the real spectacle.

* AP

Published: August 10, 2014 04:00 AM

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