Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj Toyota Center July 13, 2011
Check out pictures of bad girls Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj in our slideshow.
So far in 2011, Aftermath has seen Ke$ha, Kylie Minogue, Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and in two weeks we should be standing in Katy Perry's midst. We're not saying that because we are bragging, but because all of those people save Madame Minogue are all where they are today because Britney Spears put on a schoolgirl outfit for a music video shoot in late 1998.
We have respect for the lady, now pushing 30, because she led the charge for girls after the Spice Girls imploded, and we needed new pop fodder. She's led a hell of a life the past decade, changing in the public eye, and it seems that we have somehow grown up with her. She could be any girl we graduated high school with, and that's what makes her human to us. She is infinitely fallible, and not afraid to show scars. Even though she does lip-sync.
Here's our ticker from last night after spending nearly two hours with Brit-Brit, from the opening shots of Nicki Minaj to the confetti-covered ending.
Nicki Minaj is on now. The screams, Lordy, the screams. "Did It on 'Em" comes second out the gate while we are lining up for a pretzel dinner. Shitted on 'em, we mean.
The crowd is prettier, older, and more slinky than the last huge Toyota Center girly-pop show we went to, Lady Gaga in April. You can feel the girl-on-girl hate in the place.
Lady Gaga Crowd: "I'm using this pop star to find myself." Britney Spears Crowd: "I found myself at the bottom of a vodka bottle." Both are cool, and both are needed for a perfect world.
The female finery here is through the roof. Just roving packs of chicks, coming in three and four varieties.
Minaj is built Ford tough onstage. Stomping. She's probably ready to start headlining shows after at least another album. Crowd is insane too, and she is destroying them. Every track is hitting, though the story line attached to her show is confusing. Jigsaw mask from Saw is a bad guy, Minaj shoots her/it...
Forty-three minute countdown to Britney. End up getting into a conversation with the girlfriend lady after this sexy mess stands in front of our seats in a slutty sailor costume. The girl gets weirded out that a guy noticed her outfit, even with the gold jacket, red hat, and one-piece thing we don't know the name of. Come to find out that our conception that girls dress sleazy to impress other girls is not entirely correct.
This somehow relates back the idea we had all week that Spears was a female role model in the late '90s and early '00s when it came to sexuality, and how to use your body as a weapon. We get hungry again.
The drunken, slurry belligerence coming out of the Toyota Center tonight will be great. Already seen a group of fancy boys take 10 pictures together in various poses.
Awesome. The PA getting the crowd hyped with some Nickelback, or Chad Kroeger with Santana maybe. Either way, we hate our brain and our job for knowing the latter exists.
Ten minutes till Britney. What a long strange trip it has been. It will be so weird seeing her in person, after cutting pictures out of magazines of her and putting them up in our room, or buying big, semi-nude posters of her for our teenage room. We can't help that we were 16 and she was 17 when she hit the scene. Lots of living has gone on these 12 years.
Three minute countdown. Holy shit. Loud noises. One minute..."It's Britney, bitch."
"Hold It Against Me" begins. She doesn't move much live, it seems. Lots of sitting. Posing.
Lasers! Britney in jail. Humping bars, tricking guards into getting cuffed to the bars so she can escape and dance dance dance.
"3," the threesome song. The "Peter, Paul, and Mary" line is still creepy. White trenchcoats on Spears and the dancers.
Britney has thick, thick dancer legs.
She's hanging inside in what looks like an upside down bar stool. Half-naked cops writhe below. Videos during set and wardrobe changes are heavy on the tabloid martyr thing, with a hardcore European eating candy and glowering over pictures of Britney in a dark room, plotting to "get" her or something or other.
"I can be your treble baby, you can be the bass," goes the song.
"How I Roll" is the most non-Spears song maybe ever. Now they have a dude from the crowd strapped to the car. So Britney can hump him. He doesn't look to thrilled about it either. Why do they pick the dudes seemingly wasted on bars to get this treatment?
"If U Seek Amy" - (THAT MEANS MAKING WHOOPEE)
"Gimme More" - Oh good, now we are in Egyptland onstage. Let my tweeple go.
More naked-man footage please. Just sling the peen out and get it over with.
She loves sitting down on things and singing. A lot.
Half-naked Asian man playing the shehnai. "Boys" from the Goldmember soundtrack.
Nice studded acid-washed jacket, Britney. Here comes "...Baby One More Time" in this weird remixed version that sounds nothing like 1999.
Now she's covering Rhianna's smash "S&M," which is only better than the original because it's funny to not hear a pirate singing it. Sitting. Again.
She does look great though overall, we have to say. Dancer's body. Girlfriend lady keeps hating on Spears' weave and/or extensions.
"I'm A Slave 4 U" comes with a tame routine considering the song is about fucking and beating the shit out of each other. We know a certain younger, blonde, Italian-American pop star who would have leather men bleeding and on fire during this song.
During "Womanizer", we saw a glimpse of young Britney, which was endearing. You remember the Britney all alone in front of the camera on the early videos, doing that thing where she dances from her hips and wiggles her arms? Wait, that's been everything she has done, huh? What we meant to say was that it was like the old times watching MTV with the sound turned down.
Coming back out for "Toxic," and the man dating the walking perfume stand, is barking behind us. This song was missing ninjas, geishas and shit the whole time.
"Till The World Ends" is ending the show. Written by Ke$ha, it's easily the catchiest song Spears has been a part of since she shaved her head in 2007.
Minaj comes back out so Spears can get in a flying angel apparatus. Was she just like, waiting around in full costume the past two hours? All Minaj really did was come out and shake her ass and scream "Britney" or something then she was gone like a fart in the wind.
Spears climbs off the angel machine and confetti is coming all over the crowd as the song closes. Never really saw a band tonight, which was strange, but not unexpected.
The theme song from HBO's Real Sex plays us out as we all file into the concourse, of course.
Personal Bias: This set of Esquire photos from 2003.
The Crowd: Chicks, man. Smell-good, glittery, skinny, chicks.
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Overheard In the Crowd: Piercing shrieks, but from women, instead of from teens like we are used to. Damn it, that sounded bad. What we meant was that we heard full-grown women screaming for a change, considering all the pop shows we cover, where there are usually pre-teen chicks screeching.
Random Notebook Dump: Spears can be funny too, even if that means she is covered in toilet water.