Concert Review: Rihanna in NYC on 12/3/09

MySpace Music extended their

streak of bringing the biggest stars to NYC through the Urban Concert

Series “THE RELEASE”. The Hammerstein Ballroom housed 500+ energetic

fans, all which received a free ticket at that, not to mention the streaming

video that went LIVE around the world, to see ROC Nation’s Princess,

DEF JAM recording artist, Rihanna.

Rihanna was in “town” to

promote her latest album “Rated R”. The “Rated R” superstar

sold 181,000 copies in the first week. And with Saturday Night Live

waiting in the wings, last nights performance was a sign of what was

to come tomorrow night. An amazing plus to this performance was the

intimacy of it all. Rihanna was given the opportunity to be up close

and personal with her fans, eye to eye, almost in reaching distance

from where ever you stood. But if it was up to this beautiful talent,

you’d just have to ‘Wait Your Turn’. Rihanna hit the stage with

unshakable confidence. And why shouldn’t she? She is clearly in the

best shape of her life, with an undeniable fashion sense and a sex appeal

that pulls you in. “The Wait is Over,” she sung to a packed house,

that was well, waiting. I would say that “good” things come to those

who wait, but didn’t she turn “bad” last album?

Rihanna took a seat at mid-center

stage to sing her lead single ‘Russian Roulette’. The silver chair

spun as Rihanna delved deeper into a love that was life threatening,

written by multi-platinum singer/songwriter, Ne-Yo. The stage went red

with pain as the crowd sung along to the heart pounding ballad. Rihanna

rose to her feet for the bridge and once again, the crowd just ate it

up. Now I must say that a little more time in sound check would have

done well for the total ambiance. But still in all, Rihanna held it

down nicely.

Speaking of the “Good Girl,

Gone Bad”, the next song ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’ was more

of an upbeat performance. Rihanna danced from one end of the stage to

the other as her fans threw their hands in the air and pulled out their

best moves. Next, ‘Take a Bow’ found Rihanna sitting on a stool,

front and center stage, and emotionally belting out lyrics that may

have more meaning today than they ever had. Last but not least, Rihanna

finished the set with ‘Disturbia’ which was remixed in a way that

slowed the uptempo hit down into an R&B ballad. This performance

would switch speeds but remained dark. 

To close out the show, Rihanna

delivered two crowd favorites. She performed her new single ‘Hard’,

which practically everybody in attendance sung along with, word for

word. The song is just catching on. Last week, ‘Hard’ was the #1

most added record at both the Pop and Urban radio formats, and was the

Greatest Gainer at Rhythm. It has a strong Hip-Hop influence to it,

with or without the Jeezy appearance.

You know that a Rihanna concert

wouldn’t be complete without hearing the most successful song of her

early career, ‘Umbrella’. What threw me was the fact that members

of the crowd actually opened up umbrellas during the performance. Weird,

right? I think so, because it sure wasn’t raining in the Big Apple

last night. But that’s cool, to each its own. 

Overall, from the fans perspective,

it was all smiles and satisfaction. Free tickets to see Rihanna was

a win/win for them. I would’ve liked for the performance to be longer

than 30 minutes though. She left a lot of good music on stage and this

would’ve been the perfect forum to run down “Rated R” from start

to finish. I would take an educated guess that her voice was saved for

the first Saturday Night Live performance of her career this weekend.