Much fuss has been made about the sexually-charged content of Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour, but the pop star is thoughtful enough to include a parental advisory label among the show’s visual diversions.
Of course, that warning came too late for anyone in the packed house on Monday at Amway Center unaware of the singer’s new shock-oriented approach. And it ignored the bigger threat that some impressionable young music fans might mistake these songs for something destined to last.
From the grand entrance, when Cyrus slid down a giant tongue unfurled from a video of her face to do “SMS (Bangerz),” to her innuendo-laden exit astride a giant flying hot dog, the show reflected its star:
An attention-grabbing two-hour train wreck of excesses built on a flimsy musical foundation.
Would the stunts be enough to lift the vacuous songs? Mostly, yes.
With hundreds of balloons decorating the lower bowl, a stage that belched smoke and a cast of furry characters that looked like extras on a pre-school TV show on acid, there was always something to see.
For all the content concerns, Cyrus kept her clothes on to deliver beat-driven songs such as “4X4,” “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball.”
The outfits were controversial enough, such as the marijuana-leaf bodysuit that accessorized “Love Money Party,” performed by Cyrus atop a shiny convertible.
She seemed to take a sexual interest in the car’s hood and later cavorted on a bed with her dancers. Yet with the exception of a bondage-themed video segment, such scenes were cartoonish, like the Ren & Stimpy-style animation on the video screen. She lost more role-model points for constantly using the F-word between songs.
In an acoustic set on a satellite stage, Cyrus turned country with credibility for Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” Still, the stripped-down set was odd in a show otherwise more about stripping.
Not to worry. When Cyrus got physical with a faux Abraham Lincoln in the closing “Party in the U.S.A.,” it suggested a new, unfortunate, twist on the notion of “conceived in liberty.”
But what better partner than Lincoln, who observed that you can fool some of the people all the time?
By that standard, this sexual revolution is positively Lincolnesque.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun