Review: Concert in Manila

Barbados-born pop star Rihanna is bouncy, bubbly, and full of energy – just like her songs. That’s according to Singaporean minders who helped with the logistics of her concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last Thursday, where the singer of hits like Pon De Replay, SOS, Unfaithful and Umbrella played to a crowd of 7,800. “She had no airs about her,” said Ms Lu. When Rihanna heard Ms Lu and a colleague speaking outside her dressing room, she mistook the pair for her female back-up singers.

Barbados-born pop star Rihanna is bouncy, bubbly, and full of energy – just like her songs. That’s according to Singaporean minders who helped with the logistics of her concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last Thursday, where the singer of hits like Pon De Replay, SOS, Unfaithful and Umbrella played to a crowd of 7,800. Flying in last Wednesday – fresh off an Australian tour with her beau, Chris Brown – the 20-year-old spent 31/2 days in Singapore before jetting off to Manila last Saturday.

Rihanna was gracious from the moment she landed. She stopped to sign autographs for seven fans who turned up to greet her at the airport, said Ms Melissa Lam, director of Tinsel PR, which handled public relations for concert promoter Midas Promotions. Unlike other stars who often confined themselves to their dressing rooms, Rihanna walked around the venue at sound check, and said “hello” to anyone who caught her eye, said Ms Debbie Lu, 21, a public-relations executive for Tinsel.

“She had no airs about her,” said Ms Lu. When Rihanna heard Ms Lu and a colleague speaking outside her dressing room, she mistook the pair for her female back-up singers. She leapt out from her dressing room to shout: “Yeah! Let’s party!” She giggled when she realised her mistake, apologised sheepishly and retreated into her dressing room. Last Friday, Rihanna was spotted at Ngee Ann City’s Cartier, where she purchased items from its Love collection, spending around $10,000 there.

Rihanna’s 60-minute gig at the Indoor Stadium was not without its hiccups. She left the stage during her first number, Disturbia, after she found out that her Swarovski- studded microphone was not working. Returning later, she apologised, saying:” Sorry about that earlier, some people are trying to mess my sh** up.”

Ms Lam confirmed that all the equipment – ranging from staging to microphones – for the $1-million production had been flown in by Rihanna’s management. During sound check, the microphone had been working fine, she added. Some fans, which included Singaporean and expatriate teens and young working adults, were upset at the length of the concert, saying it was too short.

Some were not piqued, though. “Sure, the concert was short, but it was packed with her hits and there wasn’t a dull moment,” said Ms Amber Tham, 22, a marketing executive.

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