Pop singer Rihanna delivered a sultry, sexy show at KeyArena Sunday, April 24, on her Anti World Tour.
True to her famous lyric, Rihanna put in “work, work, work, work, work, work” — and then some — at KeyArena Sunday (April 24), sending the sold-out Anti World Tour crowd into high orbit with a sultry, sexy show that focused on her biggest hits.
Dressed in a cream-colored robe that looked like something out of Kanye West’s fashion line, she started with her 2012 single “Stay” on a satellite stage in the middle of the arena. The robe and the stage were soon abandoned and Rihanna made her way to the white-cloth-draped main stage via a floating glass catwalk, as she worked through “Woo” and “Sex With Me.”
It’s easy to forget, but the 28-year-old Barbadian has been a bona fide star since 2005, when her single “Pon de Replay” went double platinum. This is her fifth world tour and that experience showed in every facet of her commanding performance.
She paid homage to a trio of West’s songs, to which she has contributed guest vocals — “Live Your Life,” “Run This Town” and “All of The Lights” — and also broke into her back catalog for the 2007 monster hit “Umbrella.”
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Rihanna was unafraid to let her backup dancers have the spotlight at times, especially during her numerous wardrobe changes. The dancers were impressive, with a riveting contortionist style that offered a counterpoint to the slinky sexiness of Rihanna’s music.
The singer cut short a number of songs after just one verse, a subtle trick that kept the show’s pacing and energy level tight. New songs “Desperado” and the hit “Work” were both maybe two minutes apiece, offering tantalizing morsels before she shifted gears again.
Rihanna settled in for longer on “Where Have You Been,” turning it into a nightclub fever dream with a barrage of sensual dance moves best left to the imagination, then upped the ante even higher on her 2012 No. 1 single “Diamonds.” With the arena lit up with shimmering cellphone lights, it was a perfect pop anthem climax.
Instead of ducking backstage and coming back, Rihanna simply stayed out for what felt like an encore. An acoustic pop hit originally featuring West and Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds” turned into a singalong and a nice vocal highlight before Rihanna closed things out with one last new one, “Kiss It Better.”
Autotune rapper Travis Scott opened and was immediately forgotten once Rihanna hit the stage.