REVIEW: Britney Spears’ Newcastle Arena show devoid of sparkle, energy or enthusiasm

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

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BELIEVE me, I wanted to love Britney.

This princess of pop is behind some of this generation’s most iconic moments of pop perfection – Hit Me Baby One More Time, Oops I Did it Again and Slave 4 U to name a few – but her crown has since slipped.

For this was a Femme Fatale tour that was fatally flawed.

Most of her hits were there – Womaniser, Boys, Piece of Me, Toxic – but she appeared to lip-synch through them, badly.

There were odd moments in which her microphone seemed to be turned on: for ballad Don’t Let Me Be The Last to Know and her brief hellos to the crowd.

But on the whole this was a show devoid of sparkle, energy or enthusiasm.

Even sections which hinted at excitement, such as Britters handcuffing an audience member to a pole and fans being asked on stage for a dance, were watered down by the star’s lacklustre and lethargic dancing.

Recently I’ve seen many of Britney’s contemporaries – Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Pink – and every one of them blows her out of the water.

The staging and lighting were decent enough, but her outfits looked ill-fitting and dated.

She was brought on stage in a Pharaoh-style boat for Gimme More. I hoped she’d leap into action, but again the vocals lacked panache.

This cocktail of catastrophes led to a uninspired audience, the majority of whom stayed in their seats for the duration.

I’m sure for hardcore Britney fans, it was a delight to see their idol in the flesh, but was £55 for 80 minutes of someone who is a pale imitation of her videos really worth it?

Quite frankly it appeared as if Britney didn’t want to be there, and by the end of it neither did I.

Katy Wheeler