Filling in for Michael this morning is Susanne Shum. She’ll be writing on the Christina Aguilera concert that was held at GM Place earlier this week. Enjoy!
On Monday night (March 12), Michael and I went down to General Motors Place to catch the Christina Aguilera concert. We were lucky enough to find a free parking spot along Pacific Blvd. However, we had to stand in line for about 45 minutes to get ourselves through Gate 3 even though we were an hour and a half early (show time was at 7:30pm)! Both of us commented on the many big rigs and tour buses parked near GM place, exclaiming that Christina must have had a huge entourage. That it was a good indication that this was going to be one heck of a show — we were right.
The opening act — the Pussycat Dolls, featuring Nicole Schwarzenegger (c’mon, who really knows her last name other than hardcore fans?) — actually got 90% of the audience to show up on time, which was not the case in previous concerts we’ve been to. Oftentimes, we noticed that the bulk of the audience wasn’t there for the first hour of the concert (i.e the opening act).
The Pussycat Dolls performed many of their hit singles like “Don’t Cha”, “Buttons”, and “Stickwitu”, and got most of the crowd dancing and singing along. Their outfits were nice and sexy but I agree with Michael that their dancing and choreography were not very impressive. In addition, their voices kept breaking up or fading out – not sure if that was a technical error? The music was fine though. Anyways, it was alright for an opening act – just a tad better than what we anticipated.
Before I went to the concert, I had a chance to listen to Christina’s Back to Basics double-disc album. Christina, also known as Xtina, was on the mark when she described the record as “a throwback to the 20s, 30s, and 40s-style jazz, blues, and feel-good soul music, but with a modern twist.” It was also a tribute to some of her favourite icons: Marvin Gaye, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Etta James, Ray Charles, etc. This was very evident in her song “Back in the Day”, which was the second song of the night (she opened the concert with “Ain’t No Other Man”). She had three backup singers, six dancers, and a full live band.
Following that and a quick costume change, she sang “Understand”, another one of my faves off the new album and, in Michael’s opinion, the best song besides “Hurt” off her new record. The choreography, dancers, musicians, and props were excellent and well put together. There were countless stage and costume changes during the course of the concert and the order of the songs were mixed up well, going back and forth between upbeat and slow songs. She had no trouble with those transitions and sang with emotion and energy (she liked to fling her head and jump on the spot a lot).
When I first listened to songs like “Enter the Circus” and “Welcome” on the CD, I thought they were quite strange. Interestingly, they are very well suited for a live concert. “Nasty Naughty Boy” was very sensual and downright hilarious: Xtina and 3 other dominatrix girls sang and cracked their whips around a male volunteer from the audience who was tied down to a large target board (he was clearly enjoying his view). This also served as a reminder that she was “Still Dirrty” and did not exactly “clean up her act” as the media has portrayed. Much to the enjoyment of her fans, she also performed some of her earlier hits, including “Beautiful”, “Fighter”, “Dirrty”, and “Lady Marmalade”. Here’s the complete setlist.
The bottom line is that Christina Aguilera was HOT and put on one super amazing show!! I think it’s the best concert I’ve been to and was glad that it was not cancelled (I heard she cancelled Vancouver twice before, so I was crossing my fingers). It was also a plus that we were able to watch and hear her sing during her prime (unlike Mariah Carey). The only thing we regret was not bringing the better camera (a big sigh and then the Rock’s raised eyebrow directed towards Michael).