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Concert Reviews:
Mylie Cyrus Gives Fans Best Of Both Worlds

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2007

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AUBURN HILLS – The rhetorical question of the night Wednesday (Dec. 5) at the Palace; when a blonde-wigged Miley Cyrus asked “How many Hannah Montana fans do we got here tonight?!”

The answer was somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,000 – give or take a parent attending under duress. But thanks to the shrill screams of the faithful, they managed to sound like 70,000.

The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both World tour was, in fact, the hottest show of the year, selling out in minutes and fetching four-figure sums on eBay. And for those holding the treasured tickets it lived up to expectations, two hours (plus a 20-minute intermission) of choreographed spectacle, flashy production numbers, costume changes, modest pyrotechnics and inoffensively tuneful pop songs made familiar by the aud nauseum marketing magic of the Disney machine.

A good time, in short, was had by all, but rest assured it was planned that way.

Wednesday’s crowd, which included Detroit Red Wings star Chris Chelios, certainly came ready to party, toting signs – many of them two-sided to salute both Hannah/Miley and her guests, the Jonas Brothers – and attire purchased especially for the occasion. “They`re wearing brand new outfits,” noted Beth Docking, 49, who made the nearly two-hour drive from Adrian with her 12-year-old daughter Julianna, a friend – both, like so many at the Palace on Wednesday, attending their first concert -- and the friend’s mother. “We almost can’t believe we have tickets. It`s like a dream, `How did this happen?’ “

In the Palace Grille, which served a special kid’s menu on Wednesday night, Wayne State University Dean of Students David Strauss, who lives in Farmington Hills, shook his head, laughing, and said “You do it for your kids.” The show was a “special Hanukkah present” for his daughter Caroline, 8. “She was so excited. You just do what you can.”

After methodical planning, Strauss actually succeeded in buying tickets online when they went on sale in September. So did Jackie Cooney, 38, of New Baltimore, who came to Wednesday`s show with a party of nine after buying tickets at the Palace box office. “We said our prayers, and we were lucky we got them,” she noted.

All concerned likely left the show feeling like it was worth the effort. The evening was structured not unlike a night of Disney Channel TV, with four distinct episodes – two featuring the Jonas Brothers and one each for Cyrus in her Hannah and Miley personas.

Although it’s the same person backed by the same seven-piece band and eight dancers, there was some difference between the two. Hannah Montana was the more upbeat, innocent character with party anthems such as “Rock Star,” “Life is What You Make It,” Nobody’s Perfect” and “We Got the Party” (on which she was joined by the Jonas Brothers), while Miley Cyrus – ushered on stage by neon colored “Meet Miley!” signs on the video screens -- was slightly (but not inappropriately) sexier, somewhat harder rocking on songs like “Start All Over” and a bit more musically sophisticated thanks to the Latin-flavored “Let’s Dance” and the sentimental show-closing ballad “I Miss You.”

The ironic twist was that, thanks to the TV series, Hannah Montana and her repertoire were clearly better-known and favored by the crowd, while the reception for the Miley set and it’s less familiar fare was clearly more restrained – though some of that was due to the beyond-bedtime hour and the flagging energy (and perhaps diminished lung capacity) of the tween-and-younger fans. Not that anyone was complaining; both worlds, it seemed, was the best of experiences for them.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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