Bangerz - Vancouver
High camp and low-cut leotards: on the scene at Cyrus' wild opening night in Vancouver.
Bangerz - Vancouver
High camp and low-cut leotards: on the scene at Cyrus' wild opening night in Vancouver.
Miley Cyrus
Music Review

Bangerz Tour

High camp and low-cut leotards: on the scene at Cyrus' wild opening night in Vancouver.

BANGERZ AND MOSH Miley Cyrus kicked off her North American tour with a killer concert in Vancouver, B.C.
Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage
BANGERZ AND MOSH Miley Cyrus kicked off her North American tour with a killer concert in Vancouver, B.C.
EW's GRADE
A

Details Lead Performance: Miley Cyrus

Nothing topped the giant hot dog — except for Miley Cyrus herself, mounting a mustard-yellow saddle and piloting the weenie through the air. It was a delightfully tawdry stunt in a night teeming with them, and Cyrus pulled it off while earnestly belting Bangerz's token EDM track ''Someone Else,'' elevating it to arena-killing status. So went the brain-sizzling opening date of her new tour (now through April 24 Stateside), as pop's most wickedly joyous artist prodded the limits of her recently reinvented self.

The teen girls who greeted Miley on this Valentine's night in Vancouver — some accompanied by guy friends, many more wearing outfits you change into after leaving the house — lavished her with the kind of megawatt screams normally credited to boy-band crowds. (Oddly blasé openers Icona Pop were swallowed up in the early excitement.) After sliding down a soaring tongue, which luridly extended from a fun-house image of her own winking face, Miley twerked for ''SMS (Bangerz),'' shifted into diva overdrive on ''My Darlin','' and dispatched a tear-away dress to drive home ''Do My Thang.'' (She skipped Hannah Montana songs entirely but did play older tracks ''Can't Be Tamed'' and ''Party in the U.S.A.'' — the latter with dancers in goofy patriotic costumes, including a prancing Bill Clinton.)

Miley kept the pageantry cranked up during the 90-plus minutes that she commanded the venue. And she stayed saucy during an intimate segment about halfway through the night when she briefly disappeared and rematerialized on a small platform on the opposite side of the arena floor, her backing band unplugged and a tad less turnt up.

Here, leaning back on a stool and dressed down in a bedazzled backward baseball cap, an oversize T-shirt emblazoned with her face, and no pants, she deftly hopped from rap swagger to lounge-y splendor, and brought her hot-sauce-and-honey voice to the fore. She led with the outstanding and tender Bangerz bonus track ''Rooting for My Baby,'' faithfully covered her godmother Dolly Parton's ''Jolene,'' and remade OutKast's ''Hey Ya!'' as an easy-listening gem worthy of Fleetwood Mac. And yes, she turned and shook her ass.

With music-video director Diane Martel (she helmed Miley's ''We Can't Stop'' and Robin Thicke's ''Blurred Lines,'' to name two recent clips) as creative director, the show seemed calculated to overwhelm expectations. Cyrus lampooned her 2013 promotional cycle, making callbacks to that infamous foam finger and other controversial moments, including slapping the behind of her 6-foot-7-inch dancer Amazon Ashley. Then she piled on much more: an alternately touching and creepy audience cam that encouraged same-sex couples to kiss, a prop vintage Oldsmobile with jumbo spinner wheels, a gaggle of dancing men wearing only boxer shorts and porny white sneakers.

Rolled up with everything else — her showgirl-gymnast outfits by the likes of Marc Jacobs and Jeremy Scott, squads of costumed dancers, acid-damaged animation by Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi, the little-person sidekick — the self-parody just added another layer to Maximum Miley. As for the Disney dreamer at the center? She sold a fresh teen idol the old-fashioned way: dazzling her audience, even when she was just singing her heart out. A

Miley's Set List
1. SMS (Bangerz)
2. 4×4
3. Love Money Party
4. My Darlin'
5. Maybe You're Right
6. FU
7. Do My Thang
8. #GETITRIGHT
9. Can't Be Tamed
10. Adore You
11. Drive
12. Rooting for My Baby
13. Jolene
14. Hey Ya!
15. 23
16. On My Own
17. Someone Else
18. We Can't Stop
19. Wrecking Ball
20. Party in the U.S.A.

Originally posted Feb 19, 2014 Published in issue #1300 Feb 28, 2014 Order article reprints
Advertisement

Today's Most Popular

From Our Partners