Britney: Piece of Me
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2014)|
|Britney: Piece of Me|
|Residency show by Britney Spears|
|Location||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|Start date||December 27, 2013|
|End date||December 31, 2015|
|Britney Spears concert chronology|
Britney: Piece of Me is the first residency show by American singer Britney Spears, performed at The AXIS auditorium located in the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show began on December 27, 2013.
Background and announcement
After completing the Femme Fatale Tour in December 2011, rumors circulated of Spears doing a stint in Las Vegas. It was initially believed Spears would be added to the roster for The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. In February 2013, it was reported that Planet Hollywood theatre was a front runner to host the show. It was also believed the newly remodeled SLS Las Vegas, placed a venue bid as well. Local newspaper, Las Vegas Sun confirmed in May 2013, the venue was under renovations exclusively for Spears' show. The article speculated the residency would be announced in June 2013. Spears would begin rehearsals in late September, early October for the show. Spears herself hinted at the residency during her interview with Shape, in May 2013. She stated, "The [Vegas] performances won’t be simple—they'll be a massive party from start to finish. And to pull this off, I have to be in top condition and running at full speed".
The residency was confirmed on September 17, 2013, during an interview on Good Morning America. For the announcement, an elaborate stunt was staged in the desert surrounding Las Vegas (costing over $100,000 to produce). Over 1,000 Spears look-a-likes were gathered to perform a card routine, that reportedly could be seen from space. Spears arrived via helicopter and gave an interview to Good Morning America. Spears' manager, Larry Rudolph, stated the show is not comparable to previous or current Las Vegas stints. He went on to say the show will focus on Spears's new material and not rely on her back catalogue. Spears will perform 50 shows per year, in 2014 and 2015. She is reportedly earning $15 million per year.
The show is described to be "current" and have a "club-like atmosphere" to match the vibe of the casino. The venue closed in late October 2012 to undergo a $20 million renovation with lighting, sound and stage to accommodate the show. The stage was extended, reducing the venue capacity to 4,600. The show began on December 27, 2013 (just after the release of her eighth studio album). Tickets for the show went on sale September 20, 2013, with prices ranging from $59–$179, less than the typical $99–$250 for shows at Caesars Palace. Commenting on show, Spears stated:
"We wanted the environment to be that way so people could come and have a good time and stand up and feel like they're in the show with me. I love Vegas. The energy here is really, really good. [...] We are going to have all the works now, water, rain, everything. Every time I do a show, I like to really bring it. I love to put on a show that will really entertain fans. [...] We want the feeling that fans will be in the show with me. We're going to have a cool set-up for them with a party vibe so they are really there with me. I'm very ready for this. I'm ready physically, mentally definitely. The show will be completely different from what everybody might be expecting. It's the best project I've ever tackled. It couldn’t be more exciting.
Baz Halpin will serve as creative and stage director for the show. Marco Morante is the costume designer. The show is planned to run 90–100 minutes, featuring 24 of Spears hits alongside song from her forthcoming album. The set will also feature a 360-degree media wall, creating the illusion similar to a planetarium. One of the sets is known to incorporate several venus flytraps and another adopts a disco theme. It will also feature 14 dancers and a four-piece band. Seating for the theatre is reduce to 4,600 specifically for the show. There will be two dance areas, table-service seating and the stage will feature a runway shaped like an inverted anchor. One of the sets is known to incorporate several venus flytraps and another adopts a disco theme. Rudolph went public stating Spears will not be miming the show. He goes on to say that Spears is undergoing vocal coaching to strengthen her voice. Adding, "There might be some numbers where she's full out dancing with a track underneath her, but there won't be any lip-syncing across the board on anything". Days after tickets went on sales, figures were reported to be dismal, as only three of the 16 shows placed on sale were sold out. Many pointed to the live vs. miming dilemma as the main issue. Spears' manager indicated Caesars Entertainment only placed ten-percent of tickets for each show on sale. He also stated VIP seating for all 16 shows were sold out within hours. The Huffington Post reported that by September 25, 70,242 out of 73,600 tickets had been sold. In December 2013, Planet Hollywood executives revealed that the residency may be extended if it proves a success.
The show starts with a Video of a young Britney dancing through her Louisiana Home and dreaming to be a performer one day. In Flashbacks there a stills of older Britney Performancs seen. When the "Britney: Piece Of Me" slogan arrives, a big curtain opens and the show starts with "Work Bitch" in which Spears' flies in a big globe from the ceiling on the stage, where she and her dancers perform the original video-choreography. The show continues with "Womanizer". In that performance Britney and her dancers perform wild arm-choreography. After "Womanizer" Spears talks for the first time to the audience and welcomes the people to her Las Vegas Show. She asks the audience to help her count to three, before "3" starts. In "3" Britney and her dancers dance on trapezes and poles similar to it's video. It's the last song of the first Segment.
Now an Angelic Intro starts. A Video is seen where Britney is dressed as Angel and reads a poem: “Someone once told me: Go beyond reason to love. It is safe. It is the only safety. Love all you can, and when you're ready, all will be shown to you.” After that the video screens split and Spears' flies with big white angel wings on the stage. She now performs "Everytime". During this performance white flowers and petals, that look like snow fall on the stage. After the third verse. The screens turn dark and a hard guitarr riff starts. All dancers are suddenly dressed and black and also Britney is dressed in black leotard after she got lift down on stage. They perform a medley of "...Baby One More Time" and "Oops!... I Did It Again" with a dancebreak and performing part with a red rope.
After that another video appears on the screen with shows a mixture of all of Spears' Videoclips through out the years. The next segment starts with "Me Against the Music" where wooden barriers as seen in the Musicvideo are on stage and Spears's dances with part of its original Choreography around them. After that starts the "Blackout-Medley" beginning with "Gimme More" and "Break the Ice". Britney performs this songs with choreographys in the style of Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. The medley switches into "Piece of Me", the title-track, where Britney dances on on of the increases of the stage.
"Scream & Shout" (Interlude) is a Video interlude where will.i.am is seen. The dancers and Britney are dressed in Neon and Blacklight surrounds the stage. Britney performs "Boys" and after a short speech to the audience "Perfume".
"Get Naked (I Got a Plan)" (Interlude) introduces the fifth segment. It starts with Spears dancing on a pole to "I'm a Slave 4 U", surrounded by her female dancers that are playing in a fountain, squirting water on Spears. On early shows Britney was not dancing on a pole, instead she was sitting on a throne while being surrounded by her female dancers. For the next song "Freakshow" Spears and her female dancers search for a male volunteer in the audience. Britney gets a whip and a leash and plays an dances with the volunteer on stage. After the song she signs a T-Shirt for the fan. "Do Somethin'" is the next song, where Britney and her male dancers put on a chair choreography and chair-tricks.
The next interlude is a stage interlude with circus-typical music and performances of her backup-dancers. Spears enters the stage on a large ring of fire performing "Circus". "I Wanna Go" is up next where several "Mirrors" get put on stage. The mirrors include Video screens of Spears and her dancers. Spears then dances in real-life and on video the same choreography. This is the magic-part of the show. (Britney did a smiliar performance on her 2001 Dream Within a Dream Tour. A slowed down remix of "Lucky" is up next, where Spears sits on a circus-themed prop.
The next stage intro includes jungle-elements and a wood and flower themed video-screen. A large tree appears on stage with Spears standing on it. She is surrounded by rain, what is actual real water dropping from the stage-celieng. She performs a slowed-down version of "Toxic" before bungee-jumping from that tree and the original version of the songs starts. Up next is "Stronger" where Britney dances on a stage-increase and runs on the b-stage for a dance break where real fire flares up on stage introducing the next performance: "Crazy". During "Crazy" Britney asks the audience to give it up for her band and dancers. After "Crazy" Britney asks the audience for one more song. "Till the World Ends" is the last song of the show.
At the end Spears thanks her audience and runs into the big globe from "Work Bitch". She is lift up in the air behind the screens. As the screens close, Spears' dancers disappear from the stage and the show ends with a lot of fireworks.
According to Danielle Genet of ABC News, the opening show "drew rave reviews [...] for Spears' lavish, entertaining spectacle." MTV News contributor Sophie Schillaci wrote that "Spears delivered on her signature style of larger-than-life production, blaring beats and rapid-fire dance moves, whirling through seven costume changes and even a couple of wig changes." Schillaci also commented that long-time fans would appreciate the concert as it is "more of a look backwards than forwards," and added that, while Spears may not sing completely live, "[the singer's] sweet voice shone through the backing, or we could hear her catching her breath between numbers." She concluded her review saying that "if you're looking for a powerhouse vocal performance in your Vegas entertainment, head over to The Coliseum for Celine Dion. But Britney fans will find no better show on the strip than 'Piece of Me'." Marco della Cava of USA Today praised the concert, saying that Spears' mission "to turn a cavernous 7,000-seat amphitheater into a raging nightclub" was accomplished. Cava considered it a stand-out compared to other Las Vegas residencies "because of its production values."
Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times commented on Spears' singing, writing that "the singer appeared to be lip-syncing for the majority of her performance"; however, he added that the production "has plenty to distract you from the vocal question." Wood also thought that, while "'Piece of Me' hits most of the high points in Spears' songbook," songs like "Boys", "3", and "Do Somethin'" could "have been replaced with superior cuts from her recent albums." Writing for Billboard, Keith Caulfield noted that "vast majority of the show was lip-synced, and only occasionally were any seemingly live vocals heard." The reviewer praised the use of live instrumentation from the four-piece band, on songs such as "Me Against the Music". Rachel Maresca of New York Daily News noted that Spears "wowed the crowd" on the opening night, and added that the singer "pulled out all the stops to entertain her fans with plenty of theatrics on stage. She even gave the audience a taste of nostalgia by donning some her famous outfits from her most memorable past performances." Laura Hertzfeld of Entertainment Weekly revealed that "[she'd] have loved to have seen more" of the concert as "it was the most connected to [Spears] as an artist that one can feel from the audience."
Las Vegas Sun journalist Robin Leach said that Spears "proved that she’s still reigning royalty in the music world" with the residency, adding that the show is "an amazing and incredible accomplishment because in less than two hours, Britney changed the look of our Strip entertainment scene. For the first time, she single-handedly brought the spectacle of a touring arena show into a nightclub-like theater and pulled off the gamble with a flawless performance." Leach lauded the singer's physique, stating that "she hasn't looked this hot in ages and certainly doesn't need cosmetic makeup for her body, as critics claim." Caryn Ganz of Rolling Stone wrote a mixed review, saying that, "viewed through a lens of diminished expectations [...]), Britney: Piece of Me is an entertaining tour through the 32-year-old star's nearly 15-year recording career. Compared to pop spectacles staged by Madonna and Beyoncé [...], however, the weaknesses that remain in Spears' live act are stark." Ganz was unimpressed by Spears' dancing abilities, saying that the singer was "reliant on arm movements." The reviewer wrote, however, that "the show featured flashes of greatness," with the performances of "Work Bitch", "...Baby One More Time", "(You Drive Me) Crazy", "Circus", and "Everytime" being the stand outs.
The following set list is not representative of all concerts for the duration of the residency.
- The Hits (intro)
- "Everytime" (interlude)
- Music Video Mix (interlude)
- "Scream & Shout" (interlude)
- "Pretty Girls" (added on August 5th, 2015)
- "Perfume" or "Alien" (select dates of August 2014)
- "Get Naked (I Got A Plan)" (interlude)
- "Circus" (interlude)
- "Toxic" (interlude)
|December 27, 2013||17,803 / 17,803||$2,470,021|
|December 28, 2013|
|December 30, 2013|
|December 31, 2013|
|January 29, 2014||53,798 / 53,798||$8,011,280|
|January 31, 2014|
|February 1, 2014|
|February 4, 2014|
|February 7, 2014|
|February 8, 2014|
|February 12, 2014|
|February 14, 2014|
|February 15, 2014|
|February 18, 2014|
|February 19, 2014|
|February 22, 2014|
|April 25, 2014||48,901 / 49,290||$7,950,813|
|April 26, 2014|
|April 30, 2014|
|May 2, 2014|
|May 3, 2014|
|May 7, 2014|
|May 9, 2014|
|May 10, 2014|
|May 14, 2014|
|May 16, 2014|
|May 17, 2014|
|August 15, 2014||59,262 / 63,753||$8,757,082|
|August 16, 2014|
|August 19, 2014|
|August 20, 2014|
|August 23, 2014|
|August 24, 2014|
|August 27, 2014|
|August 28, 2014|
|August 30, 2014|
|August 31, 2014|
|September 3, 2014|
|September 5, 2014|
|September 6, 2014|
|September 10, 2014|
|October 3, 2014||65,617 / 77,443||$8,327,249|
|October 4, 2014|
|October 8, 2014|
|October 10, 2014|
|October 11, 2014|
|October 15, 2014|
|October 17, 2014|
|October 18, 2014|
|October 22, 2014|
|October 24, 2014|
|October 25, 2014|
|October 29, 2014|
|October 31, 2014|
|November 1, 2014|
|November 5, 2014|
|November 7, 2014|
|November 8, 2014|
|December 27, 2014||16,895 / 18,221||$2,799,641|
|December 28, 2014|
|December 30, 2014|
|December 31, 2014|
|January 28, 2015||58,001 / 80,189||$8,134,492|
|January 30, 2015|
|January 31, 2015|
|February 4, 2015|
|February 6, 2015|
|February 7, 2015|
|February 11, 2015|
|February 13, 2015|
|February 14, 2015|
|February 17, 2015|
|February 18, 2015|
|February 20, 2015|
|February 21, 2015|
|February 25, 2015|
|February 27, 2015|
|February 28, 2015|
|March 4, 2015|
|March 6, 2015|
|March 7, 2015|
|April 15, 2015||44,948 / 54,791||$5,971,614|
|April 17, 2015|
|April 18, 2015|
|April 22, 2015|
|April 24, 2015|
|April 25, 2015|
|April 29, 2015|
|May 8, 2015|
|May 10, 2015|
|May 13, 2015|
|May 15, 2015|
|May 16, 2015|
|May 20, 2015|
|August 5, 2015||N/A||N/A|
|August 7, 2015|
|August 8, 2015|
|August 12, 2015|
|August 14, 2015|
|August 15, 2015|
|August 18, 2015|
|August 19, 2015|
|August 21, 2015|
|August 22, 2015|
|August 26, 2015|
|August 28, 2015|
|August 29, 2015|
|September 2, 2015|
|September 4, 2015|
|September 5, 2015|
|September 9, 2015|
|October 14, 2015||N/A||N/A|
|October 16, 2015|
|October 17, 2015|
|October 21, 2015|
|October 23, 2015|
|October 24, 2015|
|October 28, 2015|
|October 30, 2015|
|October 31, 2015|
|November 4, 2015|
|November 6, 2015|
|November 7, 2015|
|November 11, 2015|
|November 13, 2015|
|November 14, 2015|
|November 18, 2015|
|November 20, 2015|
|November 21, 2015|
|December 26, 2015||N/A||N/A|
|December 27, 2015|
|December 30, 2015|
|December 31, 2015|
|Total||365,614 / 415,288 (88%)||$52,422,192|
|Date||Reason for cancellation|
|May 1, 2015||Ankle sprain|
|May 2, 2015|
|May 6, 2015|
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