Rihanna sends Echo into raptures

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Pop princess Rihanna was as fun and frisky as ever as she brought her Loud Tour to the Echo Arena on Friday.

The 23-year-old beauty, and recent Brit Award winner, gave her fans a high energy show which was packed with hits from her recent album, as well as some classics from the edgier ‘Rated R’ and the record that catapulted her to superstardom, ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’.

Fashionably late, Rihanna emerged from a silver shell wearing a luminous blue jacket to greet her rapturous audience. She then revealed some glittery underwear while belting out the No1 hit ‘Only Girl (In the World)’, before launching into the haunting ‘Disturbia’.

Although the production was far from tight and polished, Rihanna radiated a relaxed and enjoyable feeling to her audience through numbers such as ‘Shut Up And Drive’ and ‘Rude Boy’.

Her performance of controversial song ‘S and M’, which saw her clad in a black latex outfit and chained to a podium with dancers performing seductively around her, was followed by crowd-pleaser ‘Skin’.

Other highlights of the show included ‘Hard’, during which Rihanna came onto the stage riding a pink army tank similar to the one featured in the song’s video. Her collaborations with TI in ‘Live Your Life’, and mentor Jay-Z and Kayne West with ‘Run This Town’, also pumped up the audience.

Switching the tempo, Rihanna showed her softer side with a stripped-back performance of the dramatic ballad ‘Unfaithful’, having changed into a stunning floor-length yellow gown.

The set was brought to a close with the second part of her Eminem collaboration, ‘Love the Way You Lie (Part 2)’, before she finally delivered her most defining hit, ‘Umbrella’, while showering the crowd with confetti.

Before leaving the stage, Rihanna declared that she will be returning to Liverpool and, judging by the crowd’s reaction, she will be welcomed back with open arms.

About Steph Niciu, JMU Journalism