Rihanna opened her “Loud” tour June 4 at Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena to rave reviews. The local paper, The Baltimore Sun, went so far as to call it “one of the best pop concerts so far this year” and many reviewers praised the high-energy, hit-laden show.
Ri-Ri also threw in a few well-placed covers, including Prince’s “Darling Nikki.” She might as well take it since he doesn’t perform it any more due to religious reasons. We embedded it down below for your pleasure. Plus, she gave a lap dance to a female fan.
Here’s what some outlets said about the show, which features Cee-Lo as the opener.
The Baltimore Sun: It was also one of the best pop concerts so far this year, a visually interesting, well-designed show that moved through sections with none of the clunkiness that bogged down Lady Gaga's Monster Ball Tour, where costume changes and unwieldy set-pieces took up too much time.
Except for a the ballads that almost marred the fourth act, Rihanna's Loud was a seamless stream of upbeat dance music, and she did it without sacrificing impressive stagecraft or pizzazz.
Bark + Bite: Rihanna has grown immensely as a performer. No, she's not a dancer like Beyonce or a crazy pianist like Lady Gaga, but Rihanna is a certified entertainer. She played and interacted with the crowd and most importantly, she sang live and she sang live well.
Rolling Stone: Beyond just the volume of the show -- which was considerable -- the [“Loud”] theme prevailed through the set, built around a giant speaker cabinet; the costumes (mostly neon and shiny); and the entire production itself: a gloriously over-the-top spectacle perfectly befitting the singer, who seems to produce chart-toppers by the dozen.
The tour continues tonight in Toronto.