Review by Liz Hackett
On April 12th, Miley Cyrus made her 32nd stop in Columbus, Ohio on the U.S. leg of her highly publicized and anticipated Bangerz Tour, and she certainly did not disappoint.
Cyrus’s Bangerz Tour had everything one would expect from her, including tongue, twerking, dancing cat memes, and more. After coming out on stage right on time at 8 p.m., she kicked off her concert by entering through the mouth of a giant backdrop of her face and sliding down a giant tongue. At this point, I thought my ears were going to explode from all the screaming, but I was screaming just as loud too, so I shouldn’t complain.
After her impressive entrance she launched right into her first song, “SMS (Bangerz)”, continued after with her country themed song “4×4”, then briefly left the stage to change into a high cut leotard covered in marijuana leaves that only Miley could pull-off for her “Love Money Party” performance, which featured a backup dancer wearing a giant head of Big Sean. Her other performances afterwards included “My Darlin’,” “Maybe You’re Right,” “FU,” and a country version of “Do My Thang.”
Although most of her set list included songs from her Bangerz album, she did include some of her previous hits before her image transformation including “Can’t Be Tamed” and “Party in the U.S.A,” which was part of her encore. She also included “23” as part of her set list, which featured some crazy talented backup dancers.
Although often overshadowed by her over-the-top behavior, Cyrus truly has an incredible voice and sounds fantastic live. Her entire concert was performed live, a pleasant surprise compared to other artists today who usually lip sync. Her vocals truly shine through her acoustic performances about halfway through the show, where she switched to the opposite side of the arena on a smaller stage and performed acoustic covers of other artist’s songs including Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” Artic Monkey’s “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?,” and of course, Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”
Cyrus then returned to the main stage to perform her next three songs, “23,” “Someone Else,” and “On My Own,” where she left the stage riding a giant hot dog, as one does. However, the show was not over yet, as she performed as part of her encore her biggest hits, “We Can’t Stop,” “Wrecking Ball,” and lastly “Party in the U.S.A,” featuring dancers dressed as giant foam fingers during “We Can’t Stop” and of course, the singing cat in the background.
Leaving the show, I wondered how anyone could say anything negative about Miley Cyrus as a performer. She has incredible charisma and has the unique ability to make each member of an entire audience feel like they know her. In a music industry where artists act pompous and are more concerned with having their actions come across as artistic, Cyrus’s refreshing persona shows she isn’t afraid to make fun of herself (shown through her giant tongue slide and her dancing foam fingers), which makes her much more relatable to her audience members. Despite what others think, she knows exactly what she is doing with her performances and knows that her performances and behavior is silly and ridiculous.
While many Cyrus’s new image and behavior has caused much controversy, her performance on stage does not look like it was intended to be sexual or rebellious, but looks like a young woman who is confident and knows who she is and what she wants. And the fact that she is consistently performing at sold out shows full of screaming fans with few people leaving her concerts not saying that was the best night of their life tells you that Cyrus is certainly doing something right.