Rihanna brought her ‘Anti’ world tour to the UK this month and after crying on stage in Dublin a few nights prior, the show landed in London’s Wembley Stadium on Friday (24th June).
Support came in the shape of Detroit rapper Big Sean, who seemed to whip the crowd into shape with party starters such as I Don’t F*** with you and Mercy, a collaboration with the ever-modest Kanye West that featured on the Cruel Summer album of 2012.
Once Sean had finished jumping around on stage, it was almost an hour wait for the Bajan singer to make an appearance. This could have possibly been to allow more people to come into the arena, it did look like it was slightly lacking.
When she eventually did arrive (wearing a gown that looked like it belonged to a certain racist hate group beginning with ‘K’), what happened next was confusing, walking through the crowd to a box in the middle of the standing crowd, here is where the show began. Opening with Stay before transitioning into Love The Way You Lie (part two). Then she made her way to a glass platform, dancing on it whilst it carried her above the crowd, an interesting start.
Once she finally made it to the main stage, a sense of normality filled the arena. Tracks such as Woo, Sex With Me and Consideration off of the new album followed. These were broken up with certain singles that kept the audiences interest high, for example B**** Better Have My Money and Pour It Up.
The dancing was very entertaining; you could tell a lot of rehearsal had gone into the show. But with the increase of dancing, came a decrease of how much she actually sang. There appeared to be heavy reliance on a backing track, which we guess isn’t the worst thing in the world… it is quite difficult to sing and dance at the same time after all. But it definitely made the whole experience lack something.
Reports came out afterwards saying that the concert was half empty (or half full, whichever way you look at it)… these are true. Obviously the seats behind the stage were empty, but a lot of the seats in front of the stage were empty, also. It was a shock. The standing area had a good turnout, only the very back of the area was vacant, but a lot of seats in the upper stands were empty and for good reason: the price. Tickets were upwards of £70 for a seated ticket, which is frankly ridiculous; this was not a £70 show, barely even £30.
The second half had more of the classic favourites and singles, which predictably pleased everyone. Umbrella, Work and a mash-up of those two Calvin Harris songs that dedicated our summers: We Found Love and How Deep is Your Love? went down a treat.
She ended the night with Diamonds, a sing along of FourFiveSeconds and eventually Kiss it Better. She even had time to do a cover of Tame Impala’s Same Old Mistakes, which was perhaps the most interesting track on the new album.
Overall a good show by RiRi, but next time hopefully more people will show… and it’ll be less expensive (we can hope, right?) But hey, at least the queue for the tube afterwards wasn’t terrible like it usually is coming out of Wembley!
Rihanna is currently taking her tour throughout Europe and her album Anti is out now.