Tuesday 21 May 2019

Rihanna is in a field of her own with sellout show in Dublin’s O2

Fans reach out to Rihanna as she works the crowd at the front of the stage at the O2 after stripping down to a bikini
Fans reach out to Rihanna as she works the crowd at the front of the stage at the O2 after stripping down to a bikini
The singer was dressed down as she left the Clarence Hotel for the gig

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

WHEN she stripped off in a Co Down field last week a local landowner was on hand to ask her to cover up.

Well heaven knows what DUP councillor Alan Graham would made of Rihanna's skimpy outfits and suggestive antics when she performed a sell-out show in the O2 last night.

The pole-dancing, girl-on-girl action, and sexy dance moves would have given the devout Christian heart failure had he been passing on his tractor.

We'd barely got to the second song, and the Barbados-born star had, in Mr Graham's words last week, "ceased to be dressed in an appropriate manner" by stripping off to reveal a bikini.

And just like the good alderman, the Irish Independent saw Rihanna doing things in the 02 last night "beyond what we were expecting".

But no one really minded as she performed a string of hits which have helped her shift 20 million albums and 60 million singles worldwide.

And how can one artist have so many hits?


Strutting across the stage surrounded by backing dancers, the 23-year-old seemed at home singing in Ireland, which isn't surprising, as she recorded one of her biggest hits, Eminem duet 'Love The Way You Lie', in Temple Bar's Sun Studios during the summer of 2010.

Twenty young fans who spent two days outside the Clarence Hotel in Dublin where the star was staying found themselves on the VIP guestlist for her sellout show last night.

Busy recording tracks for her new album in a fifth-floor suite since arriving on Sunday night, Rihanna took pity on the teenagers who had been disappointed not to meet her during her 48-hour stay by sending out her security staff to get their names to ensure they had free tickets for the concert.

They were among the 14,000, mostly female, fans who enjoyed the set which kicked off at 9.15pm when the singer emerged to thunderous sound effects and a "blitzkreig" of video from a silver shell wearing a luminous blue jacket.

Since arriving in Dublin early on Sunday, the Grammy-winning star had remained in her hotel.

But a 20-strong troupe of dancers and band members wound down after concerts in Belfast in the Grafton Lounge on Sunday night.

Last night she joined the party for the latest date of her Loud Tour. Built around a giant speaker cabinet, the stage show is an over-the-top spectacle.

The two-hour set featured over 25 songs, six costume changes and a highly erotic S&M-themed mini-set.

So maybe it was best Rihanna hadn't offered Mr Graham any free tickets to make up for any upset in his field.

Irish Independent

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