Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rated R (With A Bit Of Pixie Dust)

Yesterday morning, before I left for work, I told my mom I was going to see Rihanna at the O2 that night so wouldn't be back for our usual post-work-bitch-about-my-day session.  "But of course," I hastily added, "You probably don't know who that is."  "I do," she replied.  "But I don't like her."  Always eager to hear my mother's newest opinion on today's pop culture (it ... varies from day to day ... this morning she told me she'd rather see Lady Gaga than this new sob story from Oprah, Charice.  "What a wacko," she cackled (meaning Gaga, not Charice).  "Trying to be the next Madonna!  Female MJ (Michael Jackson)."  She cackled again.  Oh by the way, I'm imagining these cackles, as these convos take place over IM.  I asked her why, with much amusement.  "Because she went back to an abusive relationship," she said, very seriously.  "No!  She left that fool!" I said, (meaning Chris Brown).  "Not until she got hurt very badly," my mom replied somberly.  Okay, okay, change the subject ... "What about Beyonce?  Do you like Beyonce?"  She paused for a moment.  "I don't mind her.  She's classy."  Right, mental note: Rihanna, zero points, Beyonce, one point in my mom's book.

Anyway, I did see Rihanna last night with Ailsa at the O2 and she was amazing.  With three costume changes (which had already been spoiled by the number of celeb gossip sites and magazines I've seen) and an incredible smoke & mirrors-type set plus cheesy backing dancers, the show did not disappoint.  But look, Rihanna could have gotten on stage, not said or sang a word, and I still would have stared and happily paid money to gape at her - that girl is hot.  And she rocks the fiercest quiff you've ever seen.  Believe me.  Although I wasn't the oldest person there (don't worry, there were plenty mutton-dressed-as-lambs out last night looking a combination of anxiety and confidence in their leggings, thigh-skimming glitter tunic tops and denim - yes, denim - jackets and I'm pretty sure I heard a man of 45 or so singing along tearfully and loudly to "Take A Bow" behind me), I certainly felt like a granny when the gaggle of pre-teen girls to my right stood up and basically fell to pieces when Pixie Lott took the stage, warbling her way through "songs from my new album" and coquettishly ("coquettishly"?  Really, Jaime, coquettishly?  You ARE a granny.  AND YOU'RE TALKING IN THE THIRD PERSON!!!) dropping to her knees every so often in a little black tulle skirt (Pixie Lott is adorable by the way, kind of like Natasha Bedingfield's little sister, but better looking). 

There were lots of moms and daughters.  Lots.  Lots of middle-class white women in Orla Kiely coats and mom khakis taking their (seemingly) only pre-teen daughter to watch Rihanna in black latex jump, gyrate, grind, booty-shake onto stage and scream, "LOOOONNNNDDOOONNNNN!!!  GET YOUR FUCKING HANDS UPPPPPPP!!!!"  Okay, okay, rewind.  I love my mom.  You all know that.  But I'm sorry, standing next to my mom while the lyrics "Come here rude boy, boy / can you get it up / Come here rude boy, boy / is you hard enough / Take it / Take it" blast through the O2 arena is NOT my idea of fun, it's my idea of cringe.  Like, as in, I want to dig a hole in this floor and bury myself in it right now, type of cringe.  So I tried to focus on the stage the whole time rather than the mom and her child in front of me.  As I drifted off to Rihanna-land, I realized that she had moved on to an acoustic version of Wonderwall, which triggered an inevitable sing-a-long.  The mother in front of me had to explain to her perplexed 11-year-old, "This is Oasis."  Her daughter gave her a blank look. 

After we were satisfied that all our favorite songs were played (mine was "Breakin' Dishes" btw - God, why am I so AGGRO??) and Rihanna said her dutiful, "Good night, London, I love you", sinking under the stage into costume-change oblivion, Ailsa and I looked at our watches and decided to head off to beat the stampede to the tube.  Neither of us were particularly bothered about staying for "Umbrella" anyway.  As we descended the stairs, a girl hissed to her friend at us in a tone that was a mixture of disbelief and anger, "WHERE are THEY going???"  "Maybe she thought we knew something she didn't," Ailsa offered as we exited the arena.  "Um, no, Ails," I said.  "I'm pretty sure they wanted to stone us for leaving early.  I'm pretty sure they saw it as a direct sign of disrespect to their beloved Rihanna."

And so we escaped the shrieking pre-teens, the moms accompanying them, the mutton-dressed-as-lamb and joined the other, sensible, twenty-somethings, who just wanted to get home without getting their heads stamped on.  Needless to say, we had an amazing time.

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