Rihanna at Manchester Arena, UK – 12th June 2013

Posted by Bianca on Wednesday Jun 12, 2013 Under Pop, R&B/Soul

Gig Review by Nic Jones with Gig Photography by Giles Smith

Rihanna

Rihanna

Is there anybody in the world who hasn’t uttered her name at some point in the last 12 months? Whether it’s to talk about her tumultuous love life, what she’s wearing, what she’s posting online or her “don’t give a shit what the world thinks” attitude; she’s possibly the most overexposed pop artist of the last five years. Miraculously though, she doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon and she’s not getting any less interesting. On Wednesday night the Rihanna Diamonds World Tour rolled into Manchester and we went to check out what the iconic performer had to offer.

Rihanna

The show started off disappointingly slow. There were no fireworks, no elaborate dance routines, Rihanna didn’t fly onto the stage, she simply appeared and launched into some of the lesser known tunes from most recent album Apologetic. After a couple of songs she shouted “Manchester WHAT THE FUCK!!” as a greeting and carried on. Rather than beginning high octane and attempting to keep that up for two hours, proceedings felt quite flat and a half empty standing area didn’t help the lacking atmosphere. This shaky start wasn’t helped by the lack of a concrete support act. It’s very hard to warm up a crowd through an unspectacular DJ set which ends an hour before the main act appears.

Rihanna

Rihanna

Luckily though, the evening built in pace. Once Rihanna got into the groove everything seemed to kick into action, which was spurred with a great performance of ‘Rude Boy’. From here on in the gig was a crowd-pleaser. It’s hard not to be in awe of how many hits Rihanna has put out in the past five years. She breezed through most of them in a confident and assured style, with her voice on point. The opening chords of supersonic hit ‘We Found Love’ instantly ignited the energy and atmosphere that had been missing throughout and by the final portion of the concert it finally began to feel as you would imagine a Rihanna concert would. This section of the show is what everyone had been waiting for. ‘S&M’, ‘Only Girl In The World’, ‘Don’t Stop The Music and ‘Where Have you Been’ had the crowd out of their seats before a stunning performance of ‘Diamonds’. Rihanna proved she was a rock star.

Rihanna

Rihanna

She’s known for sexually explicit songs and her performance style lives up to her reputation without ever really being wild. She writhes, grinds, teases and struts her way through the two hours. The thing is, no matter who the person is, once you’ve seen them grab their crotch more than 20 times it loses its impact. In a live setting Rihanna is surprisingly tamer than her contemporaries and her online persona would infer. She doesn’t go for the Lady GaGa or Madonna shock tactics for example, she’s just expresses herself to her music, she plays it all surprisingly straight and we learn relatively little about her that is new.

Rihanna

Rihanna

Whether you love or hate Rihanna, the combination of her mega hits and personality have made her a force to be reckoned with. If I was throwing a party, I’d want her there. There’s a dangerous and unpredictable element about her which is going to make her continue to be interesting for a long time to come, it’s just a shame that was missing from this live show.

Rihanna

Rihanna

Set List Included: Phresh Out The Runway, Birthday Cake, Talk That Talk, Pour It Up, Cockiness (Love It), You Da One, Man Down, No Love Allowed, Rude Boy, What’s My Name, Jump, Umbrella, All of the Lights, Rockstar, What Now, Loveeeeee Song, Love the Way You Lie, Take A Bow, Hate That I Love You, We Found Love, S & M, Only Girl In The World, Don’t Stop The Music, Where Have You Been.

Encore: Stay, Diamonds

Rihanna

Rihanna

Find out more about Rihanna on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

One Response to “Rihanna at Manchester Arena, UK – 12th June 2013”

  1. Review for Gig Junkies – Rihanna | NavigatorNic Says:

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