Rihanna – Diamonds World Tour 2013

Rihanna_Diamonds_World_TourDate: 19-March-2013.

City: Toronto, Canada.

Venue: Air Canada Centre.

Set List:
01. Mother Mary
02. Phresh Out the Runway
03. Birthday Cake
04. Talk That Talk
05. Pour It Up
06. Cockiness (Love It)
07. Numb
08. You Da One
09. Man Down
10. No Love Allowed
11. Rude Boy
12. What’s My Name?
13. Jump
14. Umbrella
15. All of the Lights
16. Rockstar 101
17. What Now
18. Loveeeeeee Song
19. Love the Way You Lie (Part II) / Take a Bow / Cold Case Love
20. Hate That I Love You
21. We Found Love
22. S&M / Only Girl (In the World) / Don’t Stop the Music
23. Where Have You Been
24. Stay
25. Diamonds

Review/Experience:

I was very lucky that I was able to get a ticket for Rihanna’s second show in Toronto, it was almost sold out too, and if I was going to another show, I would better be closer than I was before and so I did, I bought the very last seat in the 119 section (fourth row) just few days before the concert. I had to skip class that night and knowing Rihanna wouldn’t come out before 10 pm, I arrived at 9 something and stopped by several official merchandise stand-ups to see if by any chance had something cheap and interesting, no luck about that; in fact, I asked if they had Tour Books and the girl replied to me that there isn’t a tour book… wait, what?! That’s right, no Tour Book was made for this tour and that got me thinking about the whole “Diamonds Tour” production.

Having attended the “Loud Tour” back in 2011 in Vancouver, I was expecting a big lavish multimedia stage extravaganza like that tour was; however, when I saw the current show on Monday, I was quite disappointed… not because of Rihanna or the songs, but for the stage set-up  and production: compared to the “Loud Tour” (which was also in an Arena), the stage was pretty small that seemed like it was part of some kind of a festival in an auditorium; the LED screens were okay (they moved, lift, etc.) but the video content projected on them was very basic: the video interludes were non-existent, total darkness with some colored lights, and only once they showed a video of some slow-motion smoke effect (after “Numb”). While some of the songs performed had pretty great backdrop footage and editing (“Man Down” and “Rockstar 101”), the rest had random pictures and abstract shapes that didn’t helped, enhance nor complemented anything to the performances. Also, besides the incredible fire blast in three songs, there wasn’t any props or special feature in the show, again, in “Loud Tour” she had a flying piano, a pink tank, a box with holes for the hands in “S&M”, among others; this time, she had nothing of that. I genuinely enjoyed the show, the songs and Rihanna’s cool vibe and attitude for this show, but I can’t help feeling a little bit down about the production going backwards… Maybe she didn’t have that much of success with her last two albums as she did with “Loud” and “Good Girl Gone Bad”, maybe her Record Label doesn’t have enough money anymore; but it’s pretty obvious that they drastically cut the budget for this tour, which can also be seen by the clothes that she wore in the show, not totally awful but very poor designs indeed (except of the “encore” dress).

It was 10 pm and “Harlem shake” was played again so it wasn’t a surprise, it was part of Rihanna’s pre-show mix tape but I thought the show was about to beging, wrong. The show began twenty minutes later! (She better pay me the taxi cab back to my home, haha) and there she was again, down on her knees and wrapped with a black scarf ready to sing “Mother Mary” with Greek statues featured on the screens. I also forgot to mention the volume of the show… so LOUD that one could feel the ears slowly going numb, and if I’m not mistaken, the high frequencies were that much saturated that you could hear the hiss of her voice and the “razor-blade sharpening” of the music. Furthermore, and I repeat myself, what’s with the full vocal track playing in the background, while only verses and parts are sung live? That’s nonsense, especially for those singers who have a great voice… At least Rihanna sings live more than other artists that use the same “technique”; and I could notice that she sang more live in the second show than in the first one.

The show itself was identical (for more details about the show itself, go here), even her speeches were the same… “I want everybody in the audience say my name!”, “Thank you for supporting me Canada, you make me feel like home”… well, what else she supposed to say? Earlier that morning I discovered that the whole “Man Down” segment was actually the third act of the show, while the “Umbrella” one was supposed to be right after “Numb”, at least that’s how it was in the opening night and in Philadelphia, I believe that’s the new order from now on with “You da One” included. I also felt that whereas she is obviously promoting her latest album “Unapologetic”, she also should’ve included more songs from her “no-tour-promoted” previous album, songs like “Roc Me Out” (which easily could’ve been mixed with “Rude Boy”), “Drunk on Love”, “Farewell” were totally ignored 😦 or am I talking non-sense basically because I love that album? At the end of “We Found Love”, Rihanna got off stage again, ran through the audience who were sitting on the first four rows or so and began to perform “S&M”, looking at the big side screens, one fan got really lucky because he convinced somehow to give her a big bear hug and he even kissed her in the mouth =O Obviously, the security was freaking out!

Overall, I had a great time and since I was pretty close to the stage, I was able to take cooler pictures and videos than the day before. Funny situations happened around me during the show: on my left side, there were two Asian guys that I think were given free tickets because they were sitting almost throughout the entire show and when the music started, one of them covered his ears like “oh my God, this is too loud, stop it” and I noticed that he wanted to walk away in the middle of the concert, but he just couldn’t cross the whole row full of excited fans so he had to stay there until it ended. In front of me (on the third row) there was a cute couple, that from what I could gather, the guy gifted the Rihanna tickets to his girlfriend because she was enjoying the show whilst he kept playing with his cellphone and kissing her; she kept pushing him so he wouldn’t distract her from RiRi, haha. Oddly enough, almost the same thing happened on my left side! It was a Valentine’s Day late-gift or what?

The show ended about midnight and I had to run to the subway, as usual, I got lost again walking out of the Arena; each time I go to a concert there, I find a different way back to the subway. I finally made it into the “Union” station, the platform was crowded with people waiting for the trains and suddenly I hear a “tipsy” woman yelling: “I wanted her [Rihanna] to sing “Skin”!” and she actually began to sing the song, which in my opinion, is the only song from “Loud” album that I dislike; but that was pretty funny, though. Nonetheless, I’m sure that Rihanna’s next tour will surpass this one, and hopefully will top the “Loud Tour”; but first, PLEASE GIVE RIHANNA A BREAK! She definitely needs one: she hasn’t stopped singing, recording, touring, etc.; and seems to me that she’s being exploited and so over-exposed…

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