|Britney Spears. (WENN.COM file photo)
TORONTO - With a career that has had as many highs as potentially lethal lows, Britney Spears keeps coming up off the mat.
The pop star – and TMZ.com magnet – is currently on her Femme Fatale tour, one which has garnered stronger than expected reviews. And on the opener of a two-night stand at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, Spears was quick and to the point during an 85-minute whirlwind of props, costumes and dance-house beats.
Following a video of an elusive, gun-wielding Spears being placed in a cop car, she emerged on a tall riser for Hold It Against Me, the first of many dance offerings the enthusiastic crowd lapped up. Yet moments later, Spears quickly exited for what would be the first of several costume changes.
“What's up Toronto? How you feeling?” she said before featuring choreography best described as Janet Jackson-like. But there were plenty of stunts, including her rising high above the crowd for the sugar-y and rather lyrically witty Piece of Me.
Despite idiotic video segments which meshed perfectly with the idiotic Big Fat Bass, the sweet, infectious How I Roll fared strongly, resembling something The Ting Tings could cover as she boogied on a small pink convertible.
Spears and her several dancers rocked out somewhat during Lace And Leather, picking a fan named Alex and cuffing him to a pole as she propped her legs on his shoulders. Meanwhile the big, brassy If U Seek Amy had a large number of the near-capacity crowd dancing more than usual.
The first huge prop was a ship appearing for the Egyptian-themed Gimme More. Taking the stairs to where her massive backing band – er, two keyboardists – resided, Spears hit the spot with the polished (Drop Dead) Beautiful which had some sexy, racier moments as did Boys.
Spears posed as a biker chick for a revamped ...Baby One More Time that caused a boisterous sing-along as it melded into S&M. By then, Spears kept her foot on the gas, making the beefy beats dominant over the rare ballad like Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know.
“Alright Toronto, are you guys ready for some more?” she asked before inviting fans up to shake some legs on I Wanna Go. From there the tight, swinging Womanizer shone as she skipped across the stage.
While she still has some distance to go before rivalling Janet or Madonna, Spears can certainly entertain as the high-aerobic pace of Toxic proved. Ending with Till The World Ends, Britney rose to the skies on a platform with angelic wings behind her before coming back down to earth.
Opening for Spears was hip-hop sensation Nicki Minaj who nearly upstaged the headliner with a high-energy set. Although nailing songs like Monster and Where Them Girls At, Minaj had a huge ace up her sleeve when Drake appeared onstage for Moment 4 Life to thunderous applause. Drake, who said “there was no individual he was more prouder of” than Minaj, later returned to see Minaj dance around him before they hugged again.