The millennial of all pop stars graced the stage of the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Thursday, April 10, and two Southerner staff members were lucky enough to be in attendance. Known for her raunchy performance at the MTV VMA’s, reinvigorating “twerking”, and lighting up on stage; Cyrus was everything you would expect and more.
The crowd featured people from every background and age. Whether you love or hate Cyrus, nobody could deny the energy pumping through the arena, or that Cyrus put on an amazing show. After a devastating week for the singer (her puppy Floyd passed away) and cancelling a short string of shows at the beginning of the week; Cyrus claimed she was “going to go all the way” with the crowd that night; and if she accomplished anything, she accomplished that.
Cyrus opened the show with the high energy title track of her album Bangerz and blew the whole crowd away with the extraordinary production value. With the music blasting, a picture of Cyrus’ face illuminated the giant stage, while a giant pink slide peeked its way out of Cyrus’ mouth, mimicking her iconic tongue. Then, Cyrus herself slid out from the mouth and onto the stage. Dressed in a Liberace-esque leotard, Cyrus pranced around the whole stage with her parade of unique backup dancers and custom mascots. The most impressive aspect of the show had to be the videos playing behind Cyrus. Every song had its own unique music video; some even featured custom cartoon animations by artist John Kricfalusi, creator of The Ren and Stimpy Show. The best video, graphically, had to be “Do My Thang” which visually represented everything the song meant. Her face appeared in circles, and morphed into several other pictures of her. The video is best described as a trippy collection of photos as a distorted representation of everything Cyrus stands for: being yourself.
Every part of the show was unique to Cyrus’ style; from her many costume changes to characters she brought on stage with her. During her performance of “FU,” a fluffy creature that can only be described as a giant, neon orange snuffleupogaus, crept onto the stage. What was so interesting about this creature was how it was operated, with one person moving its head from a pole, and another walking with its body. It was also amazing to watch how smooth it moved with Cyrus. Whenever she moved, so did it.
Cyrus showed off her amazing vocal chops when she went to back of the arena to slow the show down. She covered Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Lonesome When You Go” though many did not know the lyrics to that ballad. Cyrus also covered Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness,” bringing everyone in the crowd back. Then she covered her godmother Dolly Parton’s, “Jolene” which really showed just how talented the young star is.
For Cyrus’ final song, she pulled out all the stops, and came out in a white cutout leotard with a big bird yellow feather jacket. As she sang her song “Drive,” a hotdog started lowering from the ceiling, with all of her dancers wearing condiment costumes. When it finally reached the stage, Cyrus hopped on while saying “the louder you scream, the higher this thing goes,” causing the crowd to completely lose it as they hoped for Cyrus to swing above them. Cyrus finally left the show while riding her giant hotdog to the exit sign in the sky (as it played on the screen).
The whole night was full of excitement, and was extremely high energy, though the whole night led up to Cyrus’ encore performance of her two hit singles “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop.” During “We Can’t Stop” the crying outer space kitten made its appearance and sang the whole song alongside Cyrus, which brought the energy up to an outstanding level. After that, Cyrus left again, only to return for her epic final hit: “Party in the USA.” The song came with one final outfit change into an American themed sequined covered, you guessed it, leotard, with a rhinestone covered cowboy hat, Chanel purse, and her “hillbilly” teeth. Her backup dancers were dressed as national monuments; with two women dressed as a glittery Mt. Rushmore, her busty Amazon Ashley dressed as a sultry Statue of Liberty, and even a little person dressed as the Liberty Bell. There were blasts of confetti, an extravagant light show, and even a fireworks show.
The show was a ruckus party; the money got low, the DJ stopped, the music slowed down and everything got blurry. The entire experience can only be described as a collection of love, money, partying, and of course, twerking.