A Night with Rihanna
One of the perks that comes with living in New York is that there are always great events to go to that you cannot find anywhere else. Artists and designers all clamor for the attention of the Big Apple’s elite, and often us little people can simply tag along.
On Thursday, November 3rd, R&B-pop star Rihanna, hosted a free concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom as part of MySpace’s urban music concert series “The Release.” She has (in case you didn’t know) just released her anticipated album “Rated,” which has gotten surprisingly good reviews by fickle critics and which I really like. I wasn’t really a fan of her before, but the album production is amazing, and I do like her voice. Plus, she is this generation’s true fashion icon. Everything she wears seems tailor-made for her, and she has impeccable taste.
Anyway, I decided to get tickets for her free concert, as I often never try to pass up anything free (who should?).
For whatever reason, none of my friends knew about it, so I ended up going by myself. The concert began at 9 p.m., but we were told to arrive at 6 (I got tickets at 9 o’clock that morning!). I arrived at the venue at 5:30 to a line that was literally a block long! There were most likely 200 people already there, and I was sure I was not going to get anywhere near the front of the stage. Undeterred, I decided to wait it out. Having been to free concerts before, I knew that one must be prepared to wait…outside. I wore a big coat and hat, and ended up being comfortable as I waited for 2 1/2 hours, among teenage girls in skimpy skirts and low-cut shirts (they must’ve never gotten the memo).
Eventually we were able to get in. I truly don’t know what it is about me, but I always end up in amazing situations. While there must have been hundreds of people in front of me, I inexplicably was able to make my way near the front, perched comfortably at the side of the stage near the sound crew. Standing next to me were the family of one of background singers. It was an “All Ages” show, so it was really a family event, as three children leaned on the gate in front of the stage excitedly waiting for the show. When the show began, standing behind me was Rihanna’s best friend Melissa, who is often her companion when paparazzi are frenzied all around her. I asked for a picture, but she told me to wait until the show ended (I did wait, but she left immediately after the show was over).
Rihanna performed all her mega-hits, like “Umbrella” and an arena rock version of “Disturbia.” It was a great show, albeit too short (about 45 minutes long). Like the squeeling super-fan that I am (not), I sung along to all the words, and even had the ridiculous nerve to open my umbrella during its namesake (I get rather excited at concerts).
Rihanna looks gorgeous in person, and she sung exceptionally well. In spite of all the craziness that’s happened to her this past year, I’m glad to see her maintaining her composure and focus. It must be incredibly tough. I don’t even think I could handle it so well. I truly wish her the best, and hope she has a wonderful, long career ahead of her.
…And another free show soon!