An obviously sick Miley Cyrus didn't let flu-like symptoms completely derail her concert at EnergySolutions Arena Tuesday, delighting the near-capacity crowd that congregated to celebrate the 16-year-old's first concert tour without her "Hannah Montana" blond wig.
It was a wonder, and a testament to the tween-pop sensation's fortitude, that the concert went on at all.
The 17-song, 70-minute set was interrupted near the beginning of the show's third song, "7 Things." As she began to sing, she hunched over and her face turned pale, amplified by the eight huge video screens that flanked the stage. Cyrus then ran off-stage, as if she was going to run a lap encircling the stage. But she didn't return, as the back-up singers and band soldiered through the rest of the song. A stage manager told the crowd that Cyrus was sick and that she needed medical attention. But 15 minutes after she ran off stage, she reappeared for the duration.
Despite a huge double-stage that fired off pyrotechnics and smoke throughout, it was Cyrus' sickness that was on everyone's minds. Because she has been a star on the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" show for so long, it seems like she is much older than what her birth certificate tells us. It made you feel sorry for the actress/singer who appears to be a milked-dry cash cow, as well as for the crowd who shelled out between $39.50 and $79.50 (not counting service fees) to see Cyrus in top form.
And she wasn't at her best, as her scratchy, pitchy voice murdered songs such as "Bottom of The Ocean" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." But Cyrus' voice improved as the show went on, showing at times the unique, distinctive tensed-throat twang that makes her one of Disney's most interesting vocalists.
Nine back-up dancers and a six-piece band picked up the slack, and the crowd's warming embrace seemed to energize Cyrus.
Other parts of the show deserve criticism, including eight outfits that were either skin-tight short shorts or "mullet dresses," where the skirt in the back is long but the front of the dress is hiked up to her waist. It seemed a tad inappropriate for the video camera operators to frequently film looking up the teenager's dress. In addition, a trailer was shown promoting Cyrus' upcoming film, "The Last Song."
It was an over-the-top, extraneous marketing ploy that perhaps has made the 16-year-girl seem so worn-out. Give the girl a break.
When » Tuesday, Sept. 29
Where » EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City
Bottom Line » Criticizing a sick teenager's show is tough, but so is paying more than $80 for tickets
Start All Over
Bottom of the Ocean
Fly On the Wall
Let's Get Crazy
These Four Walls
When I Look at You
Love Rock 'n' Roll
Party in the U.S.A.
Wake Up America
See You Again