Racy Rihanna on fire

Racy Rihanna on fire
Rihanna roused the crowd with her dance raves, hip thrusts and twerking moves

Review: Concert


2013 Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix

Padang Stage/Sunday

Soon after the fireworks went off to mark Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel's victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, pop princess Rihanna took to the massive stage at the Padang for some fireworks of her own.

The 25-year-old singer from Barbados put on a high-octane 90-minute set, strutting across the stage with a confident swagger.

Performing to a crowd of 65,000, one of the largest concert crowds here in recent times, she had the mixed-age audience wrapped around her fingers.

She belted out scores of hits from her seven- album discography, from the euphoric dance raves of We Found Love and Where Have You Been to the catchy strut of Umbrella and Rude Boy.

With her smoky eyes, strange mullet-cum-ponytail hairdo and shapeless pop art-inspired dress, she looked almost aloof, with her chin perpetually pointed upwards and breaking out into stylish gyrations.

Like her album title, some of her hip thrusts and twerking moves, not to mention the F-bombs and expletives in her stage banter, could be rated R.

"Singapore, you're the s***," she proclaimed at one point, to loud cheers from the crowd. She was praising the audience, by the way.

And while her distinctively sharp and cutting voice was in fine form, especially in the more sedate ballads such as Stay, her vocals were clearly doubletracked on rousing club favourites such as Only Girl (In The World) and We Found Love.

She kicked off with the bass- and synth-heavy Phresh Out The Runway from her latest and seventh album Unapologetic.

She was playful on What's My Name, during which Mr Sex Bomb himself, Welsh veteran Tom Jones and fellow F1 performer, was seen being escorted to the venue to catch her set. Teen idol Justin Bieber was also spotted in the VVIP section - he played at the same stage last night.

As if to acknowledge the Singapore race's reputation as the F1's crown jewel, she ended the night with an emotive rendition of recent hit Diamonds.

Her dancehall roots were on full display, not just through her sensual dance moves but also through reggae/R&B hybrids such as Man Down.

Rihanna, who last performed here at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 2008, had a solid posse of dancers and live band backing her up, including rock guitar extraordinaire Nuno Bettencourt.

The Extreme guitarist and acclaimed six-string- shredder almost stole the limelight with his searing solo runs and topless posturings.

With pyrotechnics going off onstage, multi- coloured laser lights aimed at the audience and her succession of club-friendly hits, this was one pop show that had the uplifting and party atmosphere of a big dance festival.


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