La-da-di-da-di, Concert With Miley
By: Alexandra Watts
Photos: Alexandra Watts (and her iPhone)
If you would have told me six years ago that I would have been going to a Miley Cyrus concert, I would have laughed at your face.
But as Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a changin’ ”. I experienced a change when I saw Ms. Cyrus on her Bangerz Tour when it came through to Phoenix, Arizona this past Thursday night.
One of my closest friends called me about two weeks ago asking if I wanted to go see Miley. The only answer to that question would have been a yes. I can go into a myriad of details on the events that led up to Miley’s show, but that would be a waste of word space that should be dedicated to Cyrus’ show.
The show was part of her Bangerz Tour. Bangerz is the 2013 release of Miley Cyrus that was released in the midst of twerking, wrecking balls, and the ongoing fascination of this young lady. Alongside Cyrus on the road are her opening acts Sky Ferreira, a wonderful artist in her own right, and Icona Pop, the European duo that made indifference to crashing cars into bridges a thing.
Parking, charging cell phones, and changing clothes led to us getting to the arena a little after the first opening act, Ferreira, hit the stage. She gave a very low-key performance in comparison with what was to come. Ferreira has a great voice and people around us were already starting to get into it. A good start to the show.
Up next, Icona Pop hit the stage. Best known for their song “I Love It”, the duo put on a great show. They were best friends up there showcasing their fun songs and infectious stage presence for every soul gathered in U.S. Airways Center. Another good start to the show. Opening acts can be tricky, but Cyrus got it right when she picked those who came before her.
Cyrus herself came on a little bit after 8:30 p.m. In a satirical homage to her tongue wagging antics, Miley came on the stage via a slide that looked like a tongue. It was a beautiful moment. Usually, I Snapchat beautiful moments, but I was so in awe, I just screamed gathered with the other souls there.
Most of the songs from Cyrus’ show were off the titular album. Some had some twerking involved. Some involved our most gracious singer throwing in curse words at certain intervals. Some involved outfit changes.
All of the songs, however, were an experience.
The various videos that accompanied her performance were amazing. My favorite was the opening video and performance in which an enhanced cartoon Miley sang along to Bangerz (SMS). It set the tone for a fun night.
For “FU”, an underrated song from the album, but nonetheless, a spectacular track, the audience was on their feet. I wondered what individual each of them were singing the kiss-off track to. All of them had a story, I’m sure. My observations have veered me into analysis that would better be suited for a paper.
After a few more newer tracks, Miley broke out “Can’t Be Tamed”, a track that started it all. Remember back in 2010 when the most shocking thing Miley did was “dress provocative” in her music videos? The whole world was worried about America’s favorite high schooler growing up. Oh, to be back in the beginning of the decade again.
Even though Cyrus is not of a high school age or stereotype anymore, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t still have some high school inclinations. After “Can’t Be Tamed”, Cyrus brought a young man by the name of Matt Peterson on stage. Peterson had made a video asking Cyrus to prom. She couldn’t make it, but she did make it up to him. She sang “Adore You” to him, while a kiss cam featured couples as she serenaded Peterson while dancing with him. Adorable.
I could go from highlight to highlight on the concert, but there were so many. Every moment was a standout. One moment that stands out was when Cyrus showcased her vocals singing covers of “Jolene” and “Hey Ya”. Through the twerking and constant media attention, it is important to note that Cyrus is a talent. Her voice is amazing. If you get a chance check out her cover of “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”, which she also performed.
“23” was perfect. I never thought my first concert with the audience rapping along would be at a former Disney’s star, but I can’t complain. I won’t complain.
There were various moments of more twerking, Cyrus riding on an inflatable hot dog, and more audience interaction. It would seemed as if she had left, but anybody who knows their Cyrus (which was everybody in the arena), would know that she was not done.
Back she came, singing “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball” for her encore of sorts. Giving her all, the audience gave back. Every lyric was echoed back, and I think we all were sad that it was the end.
But it wasn’t.
“Party in the U.S.A.” was Cyrus’ closing track. The song that was also in the middle of Miley’s transition into the performer and real self she is today.
Miley told the crowd that she wanted this concert to be unlike anything they had ever experienced, and she lived it up to that desire. It was a positive experience illuminated by a wonderful host and great music. Every day should be a day like a Miley Cyrus concert. I’m not saying that I’m going to go to class on an inflatable hot dog, but the positive vibes and good times at the concert are something that should be experienced whether you’re Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus, me, or you.
In closing, I’d like to thank Angela, one of my closest friends, for taking me to the concert. We have been friends for a long time, and this was our first concert together. I’d also like to thank myself for jotting down the songs Miley sang on my phone. The audience should be thanked for going into the show ready to have fun. And last, but not least, I would like to thank Sky Ferreira, Icona Pop, and Miley Cyrus for putting on one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.
Miley can’t stop, she won’t stop, and I hope she never stops.