Illness forced Rihanna to make her Baltimore area fans wait more than a month longer to see her on her Diamonds World Tour. But when the trek, originally scheduled to land in B-more on March 12, finally came to town Wednesday night (April 24), it was certainly well worth the wait.
The multi-platinum-selling, multiple Grammy-winning mega-pop dynamo brought a non-stop parade of hits to B-more’s 1st Mariner Arena. From start to finish, RiRi kept the audience, comprised mostly of young women, on their feet and shamelessly twerking in the aisles.
She moved the party along with a series of acts that showcased her ability to masterfully take on a wide array of genres.
After the soul-stirring opener, “Mother Mary,” RiRi quickly livened things up with a high-octane section of ratchet jams: “Phresh Out The Runway,” “Birthday Cake,” “Talk That Talk,” “Pour It Up,” “Cockiness,” and “Numb.”
“Now that I feel this love, I’m so mad it took me so long to get here. Baltimore, I love you,” the strikingly gorgeous singer told the sold out crowd. And that love continued to pour out as RiRi shared her island roots with a string of reggae-inspired tunes in the next section, featuring fan favorites “Man Down,” “Rude Boy,” and “What’s My Name.”
RiRi heated things up — figuratively and literally — in the next section. Pyro. a two-piece mesh and leather get up, and a sexy dance routine assisted the 25-year-old star in making one of the newer tracks, “Jump,” one of the stand-out performances of the night. “I wanna see you jump!” RiRi called out, and everyone obliged. The track elicited almost the same amount of energy from the crowd as RiRi’s mega-hit “Umbrella,” which played almost unnaturally early in the set.
The “ballad” section was hardly that. Sure, RiRi’s slower jams “Take A Bow,” “Love The Way You Lie,” and “Hate That I Love You” made appearances, but they were all bolstered by a heart-pounding drum beat throughout.
RiRi’s brush with EDM greatness was easily the best part of the night. Monster tracks like “We Found Love,” “Only Girl (In The World),” and “Where Have You Been” propelled the party to epic proportions as RiRi hopped off stage to get up close and personal with her adoring fans on the floor.
An encore of her latest chart-toppers “Stay” and “Diamonds” brought the show to an emotion-filled close.
For comparison’s sake, the Diamonds World Tour is surprisingly more laid back than her candy-colored spectacle, 2011’s LOUD Tour. The stage was grand but the production wasn’t over the top. The band rocked and the dancers could surely cut a rug, but they all played a noticeably smaller role in this tour. And perhaps that’s the point. This tour is all about letting Rihanna and her impressive catalog of hits shine bright, well, like a diamond.