Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Circus Is Finally Back In Town

The following italicized article is from

The event: Resurgent and rehabbed pop idol Britney Spears launches a 45-date world tour 90 miles from where she grew up, in support of her Circus album.

The venue: New Orleans Arena, with 16,000 in attendance.

The merchandise: Black velvet jumpsuits are going for $150, but the most sizzling item is the $40 black T-shirt depicting a provocatively posed Spears beside the red-glitter wording "You want a piece of me." (It's a declarative statement, not a question.) Family-oriented gear includes a $20 toddler onesie branded in gold: "Oops I did it again."

Early start: Fans clutching tickets priced $95 to $250 begin lining up in the chill at 4:30 p.m. for an 8 o'clock showtime.

We're inseparable: "I feel closer to Britney wearing these," says Jenny O'Leary, 18, of Buffalo, after plunking down $20 for a pair of black Britney panties outside the arena. "This is her comeback from the chaotic life she's been living — her midlife crisis. I think she'll pull it off."

The crowd: Heavily female, mostly late teens to mid-20s. Super-short babydoll frocks are the uniform du jour.

Already jaded: "I've seen Miley Cyrus, but I'm more excited about Britney because of her comeback," says Isabella Healy, 13, of New Orleans. "Everyone's expecting really good things from her, and if she doesn't do a good job, it might affect her negatively. But I don't think she cares."

Opening act: The Pussycat Dolls prowl a round stage arranged with metallic platforms and pound out a 35-minute set of shriek-inducing pop, including their hits Don't Cha, Stickwitu and When I Grow Up.

Big-top tease: A three-ring circus arrangement dominates the center of the arena. As a thunderous pre-recorded track blares, a bare-chested male juggler appears on one of the two rotating side stages and does macho tricks with a giant metal cage. Then there's five jugglers tossing bowling pins; three black-clad martial arts performers doing a kung-fu routine; clowns on unicycles; more jugglers; a woman performing an incredibly athletic routine on a balance beam; and still more dancing clowns (including a dwarf). Finally, lights dimming, the red scrim shrouding the center stage lifts to reveal a 360-degree screen showing a video featuring celeb blogger Perez Hilton in Queen Victorian drag.

It's showtime: The screens rise, and Britney, attired in a red ringmaster's jacket, short-shorts and black spike-heeled boots and wielding a whip, descends from the ceiling in a small cage and launches into the title track of Circus. A dozen or more acrobats spin on giant rings in mid-air as jets of smoke burst from the stage floor.

Is it live?: Amid the spectacle, it's impossible to tell how much of the singing is real, but the crowd couldn't have cared.

Breather: The show is divided into segments with fast-paced intermezzos featuring martial arts performers, acrobats and magicians. During the Ooh Ooh Baby/Hot as Ice medley, Britney climbs into a magician's box and appears to be cut in half, then re-appears across the stage in another box that explodes in a shower of sparks. Looking trim and showing lots of midriff and cleavage, she commands attention amid the chaos surrounding her.

Bag of tricks: After the first few eye-popping numbers, the action becomes somewhat routine, as Spears prances center stage surrounded by a pair of bicyclists and a dozen strutting dancers. Current single If U Seek Amy draws a huge roar and sing-along from the crowd as Spears shakes her long blond mane and plays Whack-a-Mole with dancers popping up from the stage floor.

Ready for her close-up: Fans who couldn't see when she storms the side stages could immerse themselves in the dazzling videos projected in the round "ceiling" above the stage. Me Against the Music features a harem/Bollywood theme (love her turquoise I Dream of Jeannie get-up), and for the slower Everytime/I'm Scared segment, she grabs a giant parasol with a hook for a seat and sings while suspended far above the stage.

Hot mama: Spears, a 27-year-old mother of two, sexed it up during the Freakshow/Peepshow segment of the show, sending the black tassels attached to her silver-and-black bustier flying here and there as she led her dancers around a weird gauntlet of oversized furniture and picture frames. For Breathe On Me/Touch of My Hand, Spears shed more cloth, down to panties and a barely-there sheer top with strategically placed cones, and sang while suspended inside a giant picture frame that slowly spun around center stage. Landing on a couch adorned with men, she donned a blindfold and ascended halfway to the rafters again. Finally, it was just her grinding away with a muscleman. And there was music involved as well.

Singe-inducing: Given the massive size of the center stage (painted to look like a target — we get it, Brit) and the non-stop visual and sonic bombast, the pop princess sometimes got swallowed up. Spark-shooting guns and rings of actual fire couldn't save one-note songs like Do Something and Slave. Fan-favorite Toxic, however, staged mostly with sci-fi-green lighting effects and a minimalist jungle-gym contraption, succeeded because the focus was solely on the star. And her biggest early hit, …Baby One More Time, stripped away all spectacle, with just her and the dancers stalking the bare stage, and was better for it.

Fold up the tent: The Circus show packs 17 song segments and every under-the-big-top cliché except Siegfried & Roy's white tigers into a crowd-pleasing hour and 45 minutes. A comeback, certainly, and a solid one at that. But all the sex, fire and stomp-and-slither choreography can't disguise the fact that the production needs a bigger, purely musical core (a few more songs from the current album would have helped) — and some spontaneity. It wasn't until Spears finally called out "Thank you, New Orleans" after finishing her Womanizer encore that the crowd got a glimpse into the heart of their homegirl from Kentwood.

Next stops: Continuing her warm-up in the South, Britney plays Atlanta on Thursday, Miami on Saturday and Tampa on Sunday.

Source: USA Today

Mediabase Chart Update

Britney's new single 'If U Seek Amy' is currently at #31 on Mediabase with 1348 spins and 16.9 est. million listeners!

Click here to vore for 'If U Seek Amy' on your local radio station!

Source: Break The Ice

Britney Spears Fits Just About Everything Into First Circus Tour Stop

The following italicized article is from

So, how was the opening night of Britney Spears' Circus tour? Well, here's how the first 20 minutes went ... that ought to give you a pretty good idea:

A red curtain descends upon the stage. Music starts pounding — the drumbeat of the apocalypse — and keeps building, until a lone ballerina and a mime appear. The mime is clutching a piece of chain-link fence, which he begins twirling faster and faster, until it turns into a geometric square. Then three jugglers and a little person take the stage, then Shaolin monks in black robes, who do a martial-arts routine, complete with kitanas and spinning axe kicks. Then clowns come out with nunchucks. They're followed by acrobats and gymnasts in long flowing robes, performing a routine to the music from "Kill Bill." Then everyone — mime, clowns, jugglers, little person and monks — do a sort of samba, and then Perez Hilton shows up on the video screens to deliver a monologue while dressed as Queen Elizabeth. Then Britney appears and murders him with a crossbow.

And then the show starts. Seriously.

Yes, welcome to Britney's Circus, a big, huge, loud, funny, nonsensical three-ring affair that includes everything under the big top — even an actual big top.

Broken down into four acts — "Circus," "House of Fun," "Freakshow/Peepshow" and "Electro Circ"— the two-hour show is every set designer and choreographer's wet dream, or nightmare, or both. There are literally dozens of costume changes, dancers of all shapes and sizes and acrobats and set pieces that fly about willy-nilly. (This is surely the first concert in history to feature cholos on tricycles, a Bollywood number and a pair of martial-arts routines). It's truly a sight to behold ... the biggest show under one roof.

At times, Britney herself is almost dwarfed by the spectacle. She looks great in her myriad of outfits (Genie! Drill Sergeant! Kinda Stripper!) And she can still move with the best of them ... it's just, well, she's almost lost in the sheer hugeness of the production around her.

Of course, there were still plenty of highlights — the one-two opening combo of "Circus" and "Piece of Me" was great, as Brit descended from the sky (and got trapped in a gilded cage), strutted and popped, the electro beats whirring around the arena and the lights popping.

"Radar" was sultry, as Spears donned a sparkly Wonderbra and did a pole dance. And as she laughed and blew kisses to the cheering audience during the night's lone quiet moment, "Everytime" (which, it should be mentioned, she sang perched on the handle of a floating umbrella), she seemed genuinely touched by the warm reception given to her by the fans at the New Orleans Arena.

Still, by the time the third act ("Freakshow," which showcased her naughty side) rolled around, it was almost difficult to pick her out from all the noise. Again, this has less to do with Spears than it does the massive production she's surrounded herself with, though it must be said that her version of "I'm a Slave 4 U," complete with flames and a fierce dance routine, managed to rise above all the ephemera.

And by the time she said good night with another great one-two wallop ("Womanizer" and a reprise of "Circus"), dressed in a sexy policewoman outfit, she looked exhausted. But happy. And why not? She brought the circus to her hometown, and it was a huge, sold-out, screaming success. It probably just would've benefited from a little more Britney Spears, that's all.

Source: MTV

Spears Returns in First Concert Tour in 5 Years

The following italicized article is from

Dressed as a sexy ringmaster and directing a colorful cast that included jugglers, acrobats and martial arts dancers, Britney Spears delivered a tightly choreographed, if perfunctory performance Tuesday night as she kicked off her first concert tour in five years.

The 27-year-old pop superstar's "Circus" tour kicked off in her home state of Louisiana at the New Orleans Arena before a nearly sold-out crowd that cheered on their idol as she gyrated and slithered across the stage while singing some of her biggest hits, from the recent "Womanizer" to her first and now classic song, "Baby One More Time."

The wild applause has been largely absent from Spears' life since the last time she went on tour in 2004, as the singer endured a devastating downward spiral: Due largely to personal troubles, she went from one of pop music's most profitable, in-demand entertainers to an out-of-control tabloid persona who seemed to be on a path to destruction.

But over the last year, that path has been reversed, as she's embarked on a successful comeback that has seen her image, as well as her career, rehabilitated.

The "Circus" tour was another strong step in the right direction. Spears didn't interact much with the crowd — the only thing she uttered to the audience was "Thank you, New Orleans" at the end of the nearly two-hour show — and appeared at times to be lip-synching. But fans didn't seem to care, screaming wildly at the first sight of Spears, who descended from the ceiling on hoops suspended by wires, wearing a short red and black ringmaster ensemble.

Spears started the show with the title track to her new CD, "Circus," then went right into "Piece of Me," which she performed largely from a cage, part of the elaborate, grandiose stage backdrops.

Acrobats twirled from suspended fabric as Spears sang and danced, showing off her toned body with flirty, seductive moves. She got frisky with two male dancers as she performed "Touch of My Hand" while sporting a blindfold.

When Spears slowed down the show for "Everytime," the audience could be heard singing the lyrics — "everytime I try to fly I fall, without my wings I feel so small" — along with her.

"We're so happy she's back," said 16-year-old Justin Scarbrough of New Orleans, wearing a T-shirt he designed himself that bears Spears' image and the words "I Support Britney Spears."

In the past five years, Spears has gone through more tumult than many endure in a lifetime: She's been married and divorced, had two kids, gone to rehab, gone through a custody battle, found herself briefly committed, and been so out of control that her father, Jamie Spears, was appointed by a court to oversee his daughters' personal and professional affairs indefinitely.

But over the past year, Spears' life and career has rebounded. Her "Circus" CD, released in December, has already sold more than 1.3 million copies, and she's had two hits off the CD, the No. 1 "Womanizer" and the top five "Circus."

Tuesday's "Circus" tour, which takes Spears to 27 cities in the United States before heading to Europe in June, is the pop star's biggest opportunity to connect with her still formidable fan base.

"That was awesome," said 21-year-old Lauren Baudoin of Lafayette, La., after the show. Baudoin's sister, 18-year-old Lindsey Baudoin, said she liked that there were entertainers between the songs.

"It kept going," Lindsey Baudoin said. "It was nonstop."

Source: ABC News

It's Britney's Comeback, Bitch!

The following italicized article is from

It's actually pretty breathtaking ... in a positive way. Think back one year, when her career was not only written off as over, but she was almost given up for dead. We're told she felt "at home" on stage in New Orleans last night and was beyond happy to be there.

The only thing going crazy now ... is the crowd.

Source: TMZ

Circus Tour Video's

*Special credit to BS.

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