Rihanna’s second isle show is full of flaws
BARBADOS-BORN pop songstress Rihanna returned to Honolulu for the second time in three months, giving fans who missed her 50th State Fair performance in June another chance to see her in person.
But it cost them. General admission to the "Hip-Hoppin' Concert Series" at Aloha Stadium was $5; tickets for Friday's concert at Pipeline were priced at $25 each.
The 18-year-old continues to tour in support of her sophomore album, "A Girl Like Me," which she described as "brand new" while on stage (even though it's been out since April). But does it matter, when she's still providing hit singles to mainstream radio and MTV?
Joined on stage by a pair of male and female dancers and her tour DJ, Rihanna came out swinging with "Pon De Replay," "If It's Lovin' That You Want" and "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)." With those songs off her 2005 debut, "Music of the Sun," quickly out of the way, it was on to new material.
JASON GENEGABUS /
Pop singer Rihanna returned for her second Hawaii show in three months, touring in support of her album "A Girl Like Me."
NEXT UP was "Break it Off," with the singer informing fans how happy she was to work with Sean Paul, one of her favorite artists, on the song.
Unfortunately, he wasn't in the house as a surprise guest. But thank goodness for the album version, which got played as a backing track.
Also disappointing was the sound at this particular point of the show. Rihanna's voice got lost in the mix on both "Break it Off" and "We Ride," with her pre-recorded background vocals sounding a lot louder than they should have. Thankfully, all was fixed by the time she returned from an extended break to feature two of her dancers.
"Unfaithful" sounded much better, with Rihanna joined at the chorus by all of the teen girls and their mothers who packed the front half of the club's main dance floor. Closing with "Let Me" and a cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," she came back out after a corny DJ interlude that attempted to distract the crowd with music by other artists.
With "S.O.S." as her encore, she then thanked everyone for coming and added, "I can't wait to come back," before exiting the stage.
MAYBE RIHANNA can't wait, but I can.
For an artist who has toured relentlessly the past 12 months, Rihanna's overall performance had a lot more flaws than would be expected. There were too many silent pauses between songs -- a definite vibe-killer during any concert, no matter who the artist is. Sound problems that plagued her newest material didn't help, either.
And why end the 40-minute set with a cover tune? Maybe if she recruited a local artist to join her on stage and play acoustic guitar, then it would have been a cool way to go out before the encore. But singing to an instrumental track? That's karaoke!
It's too bad she had to leave immediately after the concert for a performance at the L.A. County Fair yesterday. Method Man, her labelmate at Def Jam, was scheduled to follow at Pipeline last night and would have undoubtedly taught her a few lessons on the finer points of entertaining a crowd.
Then again, Rihanna is scheduled to perform next month in Australia as part of Jay-Z's "Roc tha Block" tour. Think she'll come back for a three-peat in 2006?
The only way I'll end up going is if she brings Young Hova back with her!