Show Review: Britney Spears & Nicki Minaj – The Femme Fatale Tour @ Boston’s TD Garden 8.8.11

August 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm Leave a comment

People always find it hard to believe that Britney Spears is my favorite artist. If you saw the clothes I wear or the bands on my iPod, Britney might even be your last guess. Actually, she has more songs in my iTunes library than anyone else, and I haven’t stopped listening to her music since the age of 9. Other artists have come and gone, but Britney will always be the Queen of Pop to me.

Needless to say, at 22 years old, I was beyond excited to be seeing this legendary icon for the first time ever. I was even more excited when I entered Boston’s TD Garden to see that our seats were in the 8th row, directly across from the center stage at the end of the catwalk. It was the closest I had been at a pop show since my first concert ever (I sat 2nd row at *NSYNC’s Pop Odyssey Tour when I was 12, you can’t beat that).

Besides being overwhelmed with excitement at seeing Britney, I was also incredibly stoked to see Nicki Minaj and also see how this tour’s production compared to P!nk’s Funhouse Tour and Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball. Of course, I also wanted to snap a pic of opener DJ Pauly D (yeah, THAT Pauly D) simply because I could.

I arrived at the show at the end of Pauly D’s set, which was pretty fun. Not too long afterwards, Nicki took the stage. I was thrilled that she opened her set with “Roman’s Revenge,” as it’s been a favorite of mine for quite some time. I loved her outfit and how theatrical she was with the dancers and special effects.

Nicki played through her classics like “Moment 4 Life,” “Check it Out” and “Did It On ‘Em “, as well as some of her featured verses from Kanye West’s “Monster” and Young Money’s “Bed Rock.” Throughout the set, she told a story of Nicki and her enemy “Nemesis” through a robotic British accent played over the speakers. She even had a duel with Nemesis, and shot her down right before she finished the set with her latest single (and one of my personal favorite songs of 2011), “Super Bass.” During the last chorus of the song, Nicki and her dancers ran out to spray the crowd with silly string. Her set was pure fun and so energetic. She was truly inspirational.

About 45 minutes later, a countdown began. 3 minutes until Britney. My friends and I braced ourselves for a breathtaking performance..and that’s exactly what we got.

Britney entered the stage to thunderous applause and launched right into Femme Fatale‘s lead single, “Hold It Against Me.” I was instantly struck with two things (and would continue to be throughout the night): (1) she was singing live! and (2) she looked GREAT. In fact, I was stunned by how fierce she was throughout the entire night, after having a few lackluster performances in recent history.

When “Hold It Against Me” ended, “Up ‘n’ Down” began. Britney and her dancers were in jail cell-esque cages that moved up and down with the song as other dancers dressed as cops moved in and out of the bars.

“3” was definitely a standout number of the show. Britney’s dancing was phenomenal and she looked like she was having an awesome time on stage. It was also the first time she strutted out on the catwalk and to the center stage we were in front of.

I was a little surprised that Britney decided to play “How I Roll” as it wasn’t one of my favorites on Femme Fatale (I would have rather seen “Inside Out” or “Selfish”), but she made it fun. The stage was incredibly bright and colorful, and her dancers picked her up in a giant pink car that drove right down the catwalk.

Britney performing "How I Roll"

Once the car was parked, Britney chose an adoring fan from the crowd (I think his name was Pete?) and pulled him up on top to give him his own personal “Lace and Leather” dance. She then laughed, “He’s not coming back!” and drove him behind stage. She re-emerged a few minutes later, wearing a long, flowy, white skirt and Marilyn Munroe’d her way through a jazzy remix of “If U Seek Amy.”

Britney retreated backstage again, while the crowd was left with footage of some serial killer -esque guy who was apparently studying Britney’s alter egos, but didn’t seem to have any kind of relevance. These little video snippets occurred throughout the show, but weren’t really very entertaining. I think everyone would have loved to just see clips from Brit’s music videos and past live performances.

When Britney came back, this time riding in a giant golden Egyptian boat, the crowd went wild. She launched into a one-two punch of “Gimme More” and “(Drop Dead) Beautiful,” which is one of my favorite tracks off FF. By this point, it was amazing that she was still going as strong as she was. Sure enough, she took a break to sing the ballad “Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know” on a swing that lifted her up above the crowd.

Britney performs "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know" mid-air

Britney amped up the energy once again with “Boys (The Co-Ed Remix)” and a combination of “…Baby One More Time” and  her verse from Rihanna’s “S&M (Remix).” I admit it, I was shocked that nobody seemed to know the words to “Baby” but everyone knew “S&M.” In theory, it made sense…but everyone at the show seemed to be college-age. Sigh…anyways, “I’m a Slave 4 U” and “I Wanna Go” were definite crowdpleasers. Britney’s dancing during “Slave” was as good as it’s ever been, and the whole place was jumping for “I Wanna Go.”

Britney closed out her set with “Womanizer” before retreating backstage for a few moments. More footage of the serial killer guy before she re-emerged as the “Sexy Assassin” in a beautiful kimono. Her dancers stole the show by doing some jaw-dropping flips and spear-spinning tricks during “Toxic.” The show came to end with “Till the World Ends,” and Nicki Minaj returned in fuzzy pink boots to rap her verse from the song’s remix. Britney finished the show soaring above the crowd with glowing butterfly wings as sparks rained down behind her. She then joined the dancers on stage to dance in the confetti that was being sprayed on the crowd.

All in all, this show was definitely on par with P!nk’s and Gaga’s shows (just don’t ask me to pick a favorite!). I would have loved to see more songs from her past albums, but she did a good job of mixing up the set. She genuinely seemed excited and happy to be there, and the crowd was relentlessly enthusiastic. Being in the presence of a legend like Britney Spears is something I will never forget. And I’ll certainly never miss one of her shows again!

Grade: A


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