Rihanna Brings It to Cape Town, Despite Recent Flub in Jo'Burg

The R&B star performed hits off her latest album 'Unapologetic'

     
By Mara Model
Thursday, 17 October 2013 15:20
Rihanna
Rihanna
Instagram/badgalriri

"Cape Town, I heard you tonight and I loved you all so much!" Rihanna professed to more than 70 000 fans last night as she closed yet another sold-out show. The R&B star stopped over at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday, October 16th, for the second performance in South Africa of her Diamonds World Tour.

After being the obligatory 45 minutes late, RiRi's "Navy" roared and roared, echoing each other's moans of excitement, and then, frustration. At 8:45pm, the stage went black and the Grammy-winner finally emerged on stage, kicking off with "Phresh Out the Runway", from her latest album, Unapologetic.

The criticisms that came from her Johannesburg performance last Sunday—lip-synching and lack of costume changes—followed the superstar to the Mother City, as she stayed put in a leopard onesie, a black jacket with matching leopard sleeves and legs for miles. The lip-synching accusation was null on Wednesday, as she seemed to huff and puff her way through songs ("Pour it Up", "Talk That Talk"), even pausing and missing words whenever she needed to take a breath.

And yet Rihanna persevered and delivered. For the lack of costume changes, each of the 26 songs in her set were accompanied by a random gimmick: flames fired in the air during "Rockstar 101", a fake video of her in jail played on the big screens during "Man Down", while blue-and-green strobe lights illuminated the stage during "We Found Love".

It was RiRi's interaction with the audience that appeared puzzling, "almost like a girl playing hard to get", quipped a random fan. At some moments, she maintained her rough, thug image, rarely talking to the audience. Among the few times she did speak, she said: "Have you ever been in love Cape Town?" and "I want you to rock with me, Cape Town!" And yet, the Barbadian songstress ignited an explosion of applause when she gyrated during "Rude Boy", and even twerked during "Birthday Cake".

She teased us with hits like "Love the Way You Lie", (Eminem feat. Rihanna) and "All of the Lights" (Kanye West feat. Rihanna), singing just the verse she features on – a rare approach when touring for an artist to add two songs without being accompanied by the main artist onstage. More than anything, it showcased Rihanna's power as an artist, and the strong presence she adds to the song to make it her own.

The biggest treat was Rihanna's backing band - with Extreme lead guitarist Nuno Bettencourt on guitar, Eric Smith on bass and Christopher Johnson on drums - who turned RiRi's very mainstream set into more than just a night at the club.

She performed most of the songs from her most recent album, Unapologetic, but also paid homage to her older albums with songs like "Hate That I Love You", "Take a Bow", and "Don't Stop the Music". After a one-and-a-half-hour set, she came out for an encore with "Stay" and "Diamonds".

For the members standing in the Field Area and Golden Circle, staring into the open sky above them while Rihanna belted "We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky", it was the perfect ending, leaving Capetonians feeling securely part of an international pop phenomenon.

The singer tweeted afterwards: "$old OWT $tadium tonight !!! Thank you #CAPETOWN I'll remember you http://instagram.com/p/fjDhDNhMzJ/"


Set List

"Phresh Out the Runway"

"Birthday Cake"

"Talk That Talk"

"Pour It Up"

"Cockiness (Love It)"

"Numb"

"You da One"

"Man Down"

"No Love Allowed"

"Rude Boy"

"What's My Name?"

"Jump"

"Umbrella"

"All of the Lights"

"Rockstar 101"

"What Now"

"Loveeeeeee Song"

"Love the Way You Lie (Part II)" / "Take a Bow" / "Cold Case Love"

"Hate That I Love You"

"Red Lipstick"

"We Found Love"

"S&M" / "Only Girl (In the World)" / "Don't Stop the Music"

"Where Have You Been"

Encore:

"Stay"

"Diamonds"

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