Montana/Cyrus something to scream about

Underneath all the distractions of the night — the pyrotechnics, the incessant selling of Disney pro
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Underneath all the distractions of the night — the pyrotechnics, the incessant selling of Disney products, the high-priced ticket scalping, and the frantic screaming of young girls — Miley Cyrus showed she can hold a stage. She can probably sing too, but it was too loud to tell and the songs didn’t ask much of her.

Lowered down from the ceiling, Cyrus came roaring out to the tune “Rock Star.” For the next two songs — “Life’s What You Make It” and “Just Like You” — she raced to every corner of the stage to greet all sections of the arena.

While Cyrus the person didn’t let in her audience at any time, her beloved TV character Hannah Montana, which is who everyone came to see, connected. Costume changes at almost every tune, Montana danced through songs like “Old Blue Jeans,” wearing jeans, “Pumpin Up the Party,” and “I Got Nerve.”

She brought out the opening act the Jonas Brothers to sing with her “We Got the Party.” For those tracking the hubbub around Cyrus’ body-double during a part of this song, which a Disney spokesperson reportedly confirmed, I watched very closely and saw no sign of a switcheroo.

This song marked the end of the Hannah Montana show. After a few songs by the Jonas Brothers, out came Miley Cyrus to shout through “Start All Over,” “Good and Broken,” and “Clear.”

Black hair, black vest and dangling chains, Cyrus played a less innocent, more mischievous teen than her Montana character. But this is Disney and even a sassy Cyrus was good enough for any mom in the audience to hire her to babysit their daughters.

She continually and obnoxiously challenged “Albany” to be “my biggest fans,” calling them to scream even louder and stay out of their seats.

While the song list hasn’t changed much — if at all — from show to show during the “Best of Both Worlds Tour,” and no musician or dancer strayed from the script, Cyrus and company, to their credit, played with the energy of an opening night.

There’s little more exciting than seeing your first concert, let alone your hero perform. The audience screaming was ear-drum crushing through the whole night. Kids were unbearably ecstatic at the mere presence of Cyrus. While much of it is Disney hype, the show generated a genuine feeling of mind-boggling excitement from these young girls.

It’s worth noting the impressively spare band — four members — slugging away anonymously and practically invisibly.

Hits Miley sang worth mentioning include “See You Again,” “Let’s Dance,” and “The Best of Both Worlds.”

The Jonas Brothers opened the show with a short set of solid songs. Their biggest trick was standing still at the edge of the stage. That was enough to ignite the girls into a frenzy.

The three brothers probably have more talent than they showed us Wednesday night. Costumed like well-pressed teen punk-rockers, they were reduced to their limited tasks within the larger show. Nevertheless, girls were out of their minds with every new sugar-coated song, every spoken word, every small jump. The songs were good for candy pop, but not nearly as good as their mere presence in the same room with the young girls in the audience.

This was a big and expensive night for families. For many of the girls it was their first concert. Disney knows this. “Nobody’s Perfect” and “I’m Just Like You” is the general message of Hannah Montana; she pretends to come across as a mere human. But Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus are unreachably perfect for their gazillion impressionable young fans.

And while the concert is exhilarating for the audience, let’s hope these young girls go home inspired, and not disillusioned about this person no one can ever be.

Categories: Life and Arts

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