There are concerts and then there are spectacles. From the moment Miley Cyrus slid down the giant twisted tongue slide protruding from an oversize portrait of herself and onto the stage at Allstate Arena until the last of the confetti hit the floor, it was a nonstop spectacle.
And that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The 21-year-old singer can still do what any Disney Channel–bred star knows how to do: work a room. She knows her audience (mostly teenage girls, their gay best friend and the boyfriend who begrudgingly came along, but inevitably ended up singing along to "Party in the USA") and caters to them.
"The minute I slide down that tongue I can tell what kind of people I'm going to be with tonight and you guys are fucking awesome." The high pitched scream that didn't fade for a minute during the nearly two-hour concert must have meant they thought she was pretty fucking awesome, too.
The entire show was a sensory overload featuring neon lights, elaborate costumes, a 30-foot high inflatable wolf, singing kittens, strobe lights, a dancing midget dressed as a blunt, countless images of Miley in a near-nude state, giant foam fingers, leotards, the oversize hot dog she rode out of the arena before coming back onstage for the first of two encores and, of course, plenty of twerking.
During "Adore You," the camera crew turned to the crowd in kiss-cam mode after Miley instructed them to make out with their hot friends and use "a lot of tongue." Apparently it wasn't enough tongue, because the pop star paused mid-song and shouted "I thought Chicago was slutty!"
The concert continued with more twerking, f-bombs, visuals that probably made a lot more sense to anyone on drugs and an entertaining series of performances. In addition to making it through most of Bangerz, she also sang four covers—Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide," Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness," a slow-jam version of OutKast's "Hey Ya!" and Dolly Parton's "Jolene"—before closing out the night with her most popular radio hits, including one of her best performances of "Can't Stop" to date.
As the last chords of "Party in the USA" blasted through the arena, an explosion of red, white and blue confetti reminiscent of Obama's reelection celebration fell from the sky and, just like that, the spectacle was over.