VIBE

Oops! Britney Drives Us Crazy …One More Time

AUBURN HILLS – The whirlwind that is the Got Milk? – sponsored Britney Spears (You Drive Me) Crazy Tour breezed through the Palace of Auburn Hills Tuesday night, leaving in its wake thousands of starstruck little girls and heartbroken young adult males on its way to Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena this coming Sunday.
The sold-out Palace crowd was awash in a veritable sea of green and blue glowsticks, even during LFO’s particularly bad opening set (for which typical stage banter consisted of singing “Michigan girls are the kind I like” and such Will Hunting-isms as “Do you like apples? Well Michigan’s got the finest ladies … how you like them apples?”).
But as the nine o’ clock hour neared, this particularly jovial crowd had taken to chanting “Britney! Britney!” and busting into an impromptu wave (!). They even cheered the enormous Britney “Got Milk?” banner that hung before the stage as if it were the teen princess herself.
Britney’s dancers then took the stage and eased into the familiar roll call routine, where the overdubbed voice of a teacher repeatedly calls “Britney? Britney Spears?” Clad in white, Britney herself then rose from a platform below the stage and was greeted by a few rounds of pyro as she made her way to the front of the stage and lip-synched (we forgive you) her way through “(You Drive Me) Crazy.”
“Crazy” was followed by the ballad-with-a-beat “Born to Make You Happy” which was followed by another cut off of her diamond album “…Baby One More Time,” She then disappeared backstage for the first of many costume changes, re-emerging only to stick it to Christina Aguilera once and for all.
As if to say “screw genies in bottles,” Britney came out and did a ballad from her new album “Oops! I Did It Again” (in stores May 16) titled, “The Last to Know,” while flying on a magic carpet over the adoring crowd. Upon her safe (phew!) return to the stage, Britney performed that album’s dancey title track, which is to be the record’s first single.
Retreating again for an outfit change (“I’m going to put on something more comfy,” she naughtily informed the audience), her dancers took over in an effort to recruit the “biggest heartbreaker” in the crowd. They shouldn’t have been that hard to find, being that three members of ETC were in attendance, but the contest instead came down to a 12-year-old named Trevor and some dude that looked for the world like Mark McGrath. Trevor won (only after shamelessly plugging show-sponsor WDRQ), and his prize? Well, he got to have Britney Spears hold his hand while she sang and dedicated “From the Bottom of My Broken Heart” to him. That kid has no idea how much his hands can go for now on eBay.
After “Trevor” was escorted off stage, Britney whipped off her jacket to reveal yet another midriff-revealing belly shirt, accompanied by a black pair of bar pants prominently featuring a ruby red heart on the center of her derriere. “I really am innocent,” she unconvincingly informed the audience (a remark that was met with boos from the crowd’s male constituent).
But from there, the show went downhill in a hurry. A fantastically long and drawn out “Meet My Dancers” segment followed, followed by an even longer “Meet My Band” segment (that feat ured a drum solo that would make Tommy Lee wince). By the time Britney returned to the stage (which was honestly like 12 minutes later) to perform “Sometimes,” much of the show’s momentum had been lost.
Being that it was a school night, much of the crowd took off before the “…Baby One More Time” encore. But they missed an intense and breathy freeze frame stare down (imagine Zack Morris’ time-freezing abilities, translated to the stage, with Britney in the Zack role, allowing only her the ability to still move) that closed the show. But she wasn’t wearing a skirt, unlike the majority of the Britney-be’s in the audience, which kind of sucked.
So although the show was only about 10 songs long and the authenticity of her voice was in question throughout, it was really truly hard to walk away feeling anything but completely gratified. And knowing that she’s returning to Pine Knob this summer (which is already sold out) with another full album under her belt is comforting.
It will be then when she will be able to hit us baby one more time, and we’ll all be willingly waiting. Just as long as the drum solos are kept to a minimum.

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