With Travis $cott and DJ Chase B
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Friday, May 13, 2016
Through an aberration in the cosmos, Dallas was blessed with an abundance of bad girl pop stars last week. The big one, of course, was Beyonce, whose Formation Tour took over AT&T Stadium on Monday. But on Friday, the week was bookended by Rihanna's Anti World Tour stop at American Airlines Center, which had been rescheduled from its original date in March. And Badgalriri wasn't content to play the role of a second fiddle, thanks to dazzling display of showmanship and high fashion.
Although Rihanna’s openers were no DJ Khaled and Bun B, DJ Chase B and Travis $cott made it through. Chase B held it down with a Prince tribute dance party that got the entire room moving, and Travis $cott kept asking the crowd where he could buy weed in Dallas in between songs in his set.
In between Travis $cott’s set and Badgalriri coming out, the stage crew ripped apart what was there and laid out an all-white stage covering, risers and even swapped out the already-in-place black monitors for a pair of white ones. Twenty minutes later, the stage was set and everyone was awaiting the 28-year old from Barbados.
After a lengthy wait, Rihanna finally appeared, walking up a set of stairs atop of the small stage, and belted out “Stay.” After singing the first two songs sung a capella, she climbed into a rectangular, see-through glass case that whisked her from the small stage to the larger one — but not before she performed “Woo” and “Sex with Me” while suspended over the middle of the arena. Badgalriri broke it down, grinding and working every inch of that glass case, giving floor seated attendees, in particular, a real show.
Once on the big stage, a full band appeared along with several dancers and backup singers. Before her three upcoming outfit changes, Rihanna rocked “Birthday Cake,” “Bitch Better Have My Money,” “Numb,” and “Pour It Up.”
The fashion was a big part of Rihanna's production on Friday. As with her previous tour dates, she’s been dressed head to toe in four custom outfits made from a handful of different designers. The Adam Selman nude lace-up jumpsuit was paired nicely with a head-to-toe do-rag through bangers like “All of the Lights,” “Umbrella,” and “Live Your Life.” She did not, however, feature any footwear from her newly announced collaboration with Manolo Blahnik, nor did she feature anything from her ready-to-wear collection with Puma, for whom she's a creative director and brand ambassador.
Rihanna is currently on month three of a nine-month tour stint that will see 74 different shows in more than 20 different countries. This is her seventh concert tour supporting her eighth studio album, Anti, that was released at the end of this past January.
Although you could see the grind of the tour has been taking its toll (the exhaustion seemed to set in as the night wore on), Rihanna never looked defeated for it. Her voice was a little raspier than normal, as she has been recovering from bronchitis that lead her to have to cancel her performance at the 2016 Grammys in February and postpone the first eight shows of her tour (including Dallas). But this was all in all a stellar performance of the Bad Girl herself. And hey, at least this time her stage didn’t catch on fire.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.