Rihanna & A$AP Rocky at Toyota Center, 11/14/2013

Rihanna, A$AP Rocky Toyota Center November 14, 2013

Music is about connections. It's about finding that song you love, the one that moves you, the one that makes you want to belt it out as loud as you can.

When it comes to a body of work, Rihanna may have the strongest catalog of music of any of the female pop stars of this century. No, she doesn't have a classic album (a byproduct of churning out seven of them since 2005), but what she does have is a collection of singles and guest appearances that rivals anyone working in modern music.

More importantly, because the bulk of her songs about love won and lost, her music is easy for the average music fan to identify with.

It's music for the masses, the type of songs that make a person turn to a friend and say, "this is my song."

Thursday night at the Toyota Center, a whole bunch of people got to hear their songs.

When Rihanna moves, it's with a level of confidence few living individuals possess. You may not think swag is a thing that exists, but watching her come down the ramp to "Phresh Out the Runway" like a boxer ready for a title fight provides a concrete example that swag is a real thing. With every strut, every look, and every motion to her crotch (all three happened quite frequently), the crowd would roar.

With that much crowd adoration, it's pretty easy to look past the fact that she's not singing every hook. Clearly she can sing, but on the faster tracks she becomes more of a ringmaster to a celebration than an artist trying to prove her vocal gymnastics.

That's not to say she can't sing live. For those songs when things slowed down she could hit every note at will, belting out a particularly strong version of "What Now" and sounding pretty fantastic on "Loveeeeeee Song."

Then there's that thing where she performs "Umbrella" and "All of the Lights" back to back; yeah, there's nothing bad about hearing two of the best hooks of the last decade right next to each other.

Review continues on the next page.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia