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Concert Reviews:
Miley Cyrus Brings A Party To The Palace

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2009

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AUBURN HILLS -- Hannah Montana may be in a bit of arrested development on the Disney Channel, but Miley Cyrus is most definitely growing up.

During her hour and 25 minutes on stage Tuesday night (Oct. 6) at the Palace, the 16-year-old singer-actress replaced Ms. Montana's PG-rated bop with a bit more bump and grind, which may have drawn blushes from Cyrus' predominately grade school-aged fans and some of their parents. Cyrus' leggy costumes and kinetic gyrations weren't exactly Madonna but they were a far cry from the more wholesome Best of Both Worlds Tour that visited the Palace in 2008.

And the frequent, somewhat disarming cleavage and crotch shots on the video screens seemed like appeasement for the dads dragged to the show as chaperones -- though many of them could be found on the concourse watching the Tigers-Twins games, anyway, if they weren't part of the deep lines packed in front of the souvenir stands.

Cyrus didn't exactly leave Hannah Montana in the dust. Though she didn't don the blonde wig, Cyrus' 20-song set nodded to her alter ego by including favorites such as "Let's Go Crazy" and "Spotlight" (both from the "Hannah Montana: The Movie" soundtrack). The material Cyrus has recorded under her own name took precedence, however, as the rest of the show drew from the "Meet Miley Cyrus" and "Breakout Albums" as well as four selections -- "Kicking and Screaming," "Party in the USA," "When I Look at You" and "Obsessed" -- from the new "The Time of Our Lives" EP.

The tone was upbeat and energetic despite a sameness to the rock-tinged pop songs that dominated the night. And Cyrus' strained vocals -- this was her first show back after postponing three others due to strep throat -- didn't dampen the waves of concussive screaming coming from the near-sellout crowd.

"I've been a little sick," Cyrus acknowledged mid-concert, before adding that "I could not miss my show in Michigan. I had to be here," and then expressed thanks for "so much e.mail wishing me back to good health. I am, and I'm really happy to be back here."

Cyrus and company -- a five-piece band with two singers and eight dancers -- certainly made up for any musical shortcomings with visual dazzle. With HD video walls hanging above the stage, Cyrus emerged from a faux glacier while belting out "Breakout," then cavorted atop a series of scaffolds that were wheeled around the stage by the dancers. She literally flew over the front rows on a guide wire during "Fly on the Wall" and rode a motorcycle above the crowd while singing Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll." Cyrus and her dancers reprised a short segment of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance, and she pumped her next movie, the drama "The Last Song," with both a trailer and by playing "When I Look at You" on piano while scenes from the film flashed on the screen.

There were pyrotechnics and a shower of streamers, and Cyrus' nine or so costume changes included a Mariah Carey-style gown she sported for "Bottom of the Ocean" and a lengthy skirt train that expanded as she rode a hydraulic lift from the front of the stage during "Simple Song." She closed on a triumphant note with "The Climb," though a line like "Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose" didn't exactly ring true given the successful arc Cyrus has been riding the past few years.

Cyrus' older brother, Trace, and his band Metro Station opened the show with 35 minutes of slightly edgier rock that hearkened back to '80s New Wave. The lanky, tattooed guitarist took his shirt off even though he told the crowd others had told him not to, but he gave props to his sister throughout the set and dedicated "Seventeen Forever" to Miley and to "Hannah Montana" co-star Mitchel Musso, the younger brother of Metro Station bandmate Mason Musso.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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