Fans, Critics Split over Britney's London Gig

Fans, Critics Split over Britney's London Gig
Britney Spears
London Entertainment/Splash News Online

06/04/2009 08:00AM

Remixed music and super-sexy new outfits gave U.K. fans of Britney Spears a treat Wednesday night.

But the critics were less than unanimous in their reactions to the initial gig in the European leg of her Circus tour under a perfect big top – London's tented O2 Arena, where Michael Jackson will stage his comeback concerts in July.

At least Spears pronounced herself happy, tweeting on her official Web site, "Just wrapped my first show in London. I love all the remixed tracks and new costumes!"

The updated tracks included "Baby One More Time" and "Womanzier," which served as a raunchy encore, with Spears playing provocative policewoman to boss her prone dancers.

The show saw her cut in half in a classic illusion, play the master of ceremonies in the three-ring circus and perform – often in skimpy underwear – while suspended from the ceiling. But it wasn't until about 40 minutes into the highly choreographed act that she demonstrated any verbal interaction with the crowd, hollering, "What's up London? How are you guys feeling tonight?" before singing the ballad "Everytime" to a rousing rapture from the estimated 20,000 fans.

Critical Reaction

Afterwards, the best-selling Sun tabloid, under the headline "All A Brit Dull," called Spears "completely uninspiring … A girl walking around, flicking her hair and miming to some average pop songs."

The Daily Mirror's gossips, the 3am girls, however, loved "Britney's Sexy Circus," saying "Anyone … expecting a new wholesome-as-mom's-apple-pie image are in for a rude awakening. A very rude one!"

The Guardian was less enamored, saying "there's something unsexy about all of it, possibly because there's something weirdly characterless about the woman at its centre," while the Daily Mail, noting some of her well-documented troubles, praised Spears for staging of one of pop's most "remarkable comebacks."

Daily Telegraph rock writer Neil McCormick writes: "Lipsynced, autotuned and double tracked, her vocals are as unashamedly pre-recorded as her backing tracks," calling it "the most perfectly plastic pop show ever staged."

The Circus tour – Spears's first in five years – began in New Orleans in March. She is set to remain in London for another seven dates and will also perform in Manchester before heading to Dublin, Paris and Scandinavia for a series of scheduled performances through summer.


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