Brooklyn, we go hard! Rihanna brought her Anti World Tour to Barclays Center this week, delivering an impressive performance of her biggest hits and fan favorites, as well as new songs from her latest album, Anti, on Sunday, March 27, and Wednesday, March 30. Check out Us Weekly’s four favorite moments from Wednesday night’s concert below!
1. Rihanna Kicks Off Her Show in True ‘Anti’ Fashion
The 28-year-old superstar surprised fans from the moment she took the stage — or, in this case, the back of the arena. When the lights went down, eager fans looked to the main platform, waiting for the Barbadian beauty to appear. Little did they know, she was waiting at the rear of the Brooklyn venue, disguised as a prizefighter with a canvas hood covering her head.
As Rihanna sang the first line of her 2012 ballad “Stay,” the crowd went wild, making a complete 180 turn to watch her surface from the dark tunnel and onto a small B-stage. Shortly after, she hopped onto a moving glass bridge, suspending her above the audience as she traveled over to the main stage.
2. The Setlist is Massive
The robust setlist ran through the hitmaker’s stellar catalog, with tracks dating as far back as 2007’s “Umbrella.” Rihanna, who told MTV last year that she hates performing “burnt out” songs, chose to ignore her first two albums, forgoing early hits like “Pon de Replay” and “Unfaithful,” in addition to beloved tunes “Disturbia” and “What’s My Name?” Instead, the 90-minute set included performances of more recent singles, including “Birthday Cake,” “Where Have You Been,” “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “Kiss It Better.”
3. The Queen Pays Tribute to Her Caribbean Roots — and Calvin Harris!
The concert kicked into high gear when the Grammy winner ventured into the energetic dancehall portion of the show. As Rihanna twerked through reggae fusion hits “Work” (sans Drake) and “Rude Boy,” she repeatedly broke character, flip-flopping between her trademark badass swagger and a more airy, playful confidence. Her dedicated fan base, collectively known as the Rihanna Navy, later watched in awe as she bounced along to an epic mashup of her smash single “We Found Love” and Calvin Harris’ recent hit “How Deep Is Your Love.”
4. The Show is Surprisingly Minimalistic
During the final segment of the gig, Rihanna took the stage in an oversized brown suit with just a microphone stand and a foaming video screen behind her — no backup dancers, sparks or theatrics necessary. While she occasionally relied on a backing track earlier in the show, Rihanna showcased her strong but raspy vocals on a series of vulnerable down-tempos, including “Diamonds,” “Love on the Brain” and a sing along rendition of “FourFiveSeconds.”
The appropriately-dubbed Anti World Tour is surprisingly minimalistic for an artist of RiRi’s stature. Throughout the concert, there were only four costume changes — each of which could’ve passed as earth-tone pieces from Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 collection — and a simple, no-frills stage design. Instead, the focus was solely on the entertainer herself. Years ago, Rihanna might not have been able to carry such a demanding show on her own, but her evolution as a performer shined through in Brooklyn.
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