Former pop princess Britney Spears turned bad girl for the night with a steamy show that left little to the imagination.
The 22-year-old rocked Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena with a series of daring costumes and raunchy dance routines.
In the 90 minute show’s most risque section the 13,000-strong audience saw: * Dancers undressing as they writhed provocatively on beds; * Britney, dressed in her underwear, and a male dancer snogging at the front of the stage; * Suggestions of gay and group sex.
Many of the more explicit movements during the songs Touch Of My Hand and Breathe On Me were seen in close up as the action was beamed to large screens at either side of the stage.
The concert, which was set in the fictional Onyx Hotel, began in dramatic fashion with dancers descending to the stage from the ceiling amid pillars of flame.
Britney appeared wearing a black skintight leather catsuit and, to the accompaniment of a booming bass, launched into Toxic, from her latest album Into The Zone.
The sound was muddy and it was difficult to hear the lyrics, let alone discern whether she was miming.
Overprotected and Boys followed and then there was a strange jazz interlude when Britney’s two best songs, Baby One More Time and Oops… I’ve Done It Again, were rearranged crooner-style making them almost unrecognisable.
She got back on track with a straightforward version of her 1999 hit (You Drive Me) Crazy which got one of the biggest cheers of the night.
The rest of the songs, interspersed with narration from a fat camp guy dressed in purple and video links, were taken from her last two albums, with costume changes aplenty.
At times it seemed that theatrical effects were more important than the music.
Despite her recent problems she still found time to joke about at least one of her scandals.
“Any of you guys feeling lucky?” she asked the audience. “Who knows, if you’re really lucky I may marry you!”
Why all the fuss?
SOME fans shrugged off saucy Britney’s shenanigans on stage – but others were more concerned.
Mum Sarah Dean, of Sutton Coldfield, took along her eight-year-old daughter Lucy and said they both enjoyed the concert and were not fazed by the erotic scenes. “The raunchy parts were over Lucy’s head and she just enjoyed it for being a pop concert by her favourite singer,” said the 35-year-old housewife.
The show was also a dream come true for nine-year-old Maria Cutler, of Four Oaks, who had wanted to see Britney since she was three.
Maria, of Little Sutton School, finally got to see the star with her dad John Cutler. “I thought it was good and I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” said Mr Cutler.
Mum Carol Webb, of Springhill, in Hockley, also shrugged off the raunchy section of the show saying her seven-year-old daughter Monika Pawar did not notice and was happy dancing to the songs.
But Birmingham University students James Santer and Charlie Maybury, both aged 20, from Selly Oak, expressed concerns over the erotic content for children. “As young men, this concert was just what we expected and didn’t let us down. The best bit was when she wore the pink underwear and stock-ings,” said James. “It is a bit worrying that children were watching the raunchy bits though, as they were pretty racy.”
Pals Sammy Buckley, aged 18, Erica Hinwood, 17, Suzy Ratcliff, 14, and Jessica Hinwood, 16, from Worcester, said they thought the gig was fantastic.
Source: Birmingham Evening Mail