A Britney Spears concert in 2011 is not a feat of vocal prowess (was it ever?), but at least the second of two shows at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Sunday, August 14 was a very giddy dance down memory lane. The impressive moving sets; blingy, body-baring costumes by Zaldy Goco (nine in total); and, of course, Spears’ star-making je ne sais quoi—which has kept her singing career relevant over the past 12 years despite a few questionable musical (and personal) choices—had fans on their feet and chanting “Britney! Britney! Britney!”
By the time Brit Brit sprouted giant angel wings and soared over the crowd to the finale, “Till the World Ends,” the Air Canada Centre was collectively hoarse in the throat and ringing in the ears. Couldn’t make it? No worries: Spears’ show the night before was filmed for a 3-D DVD.
The crowd was just as exuberant (if not more) for opener Nicki Minaj, whose impressive theatrics and pitch-perfect vocals point to a future among hip-hop’s elite performers. The night’s biggest cheers, however, were for hometown boy Drake, who—as he did the night before—emerged onstage for the emotional slow jam “Moment 4 Life.” “The young prince of hip hop,” as Minaj called him, was all smiles as he rapped his verses and praised his hometown.–Julia LeConte