Carla Meyer raved at the Sacramento Bee about Spears’s tour kickoff on Thursday night, a “relaxed” yet “excited” performance that was no less professional for the “fun” Spears had while “hitting all her marks.” Barry Walters, who attended the same show for Rolling Stone, reported the same: “She’s wisely focusing on the present…while offering possibly her flashiest, fastest moving, and most entertaining production yet.” He complimented her agility and showpersonship.
The two reports disagree on opener Nicki Minaj; Meyer praised her “magnetism” and “attention to detail” while Walters thought the set “lacked in commitment.” Both did find it (understandably) strange that Spears’s “Till the World Ends” performance featured an onscreen Minaj instead of an in-person one.
Jim Harrington caught Saturday night’s show in San Jose, but praise was the furthest from his mind when he reviewed the show for the Mercury News. He conceded that “Spears seemed in good shape and she had no trouble keeping pace with all her dancers” but found the outsized production values confusing and detrimental to Spears’s charisma. He claims, in fact, that “there wasn’t a single routine that really wowed the crowd.” This may be a bit overstated; the fans appear to go pretty crazy after “I Wanna Go” in fan-shot footage—if they weren’t wowed, they were, at the very least, very loud. (Britney tweeted to that effect.)
The latest report from the show claims that there’s some backstage drama on the tour. MediaTakeOut is reporting that Britney and some of her backup dancers sought Nicki backstage. The unsubstantiated rumor claims that Britney was furious after Nicki went 45 minutes over her allotted time as the show opener.
The Femme Fatale Tour comes to Los Angeles tonight, and there will likely be plenty of media coverage to provide additional perspectives on the tour (and to see if there’s anything to the backstage rumor). Till then, watch her performance of “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know,” in Sacramento on Thursday, below.