Arriving at Allphones Arena you couldn’t help but feel excited. The energy in the air was electric, with colourful balloons hanging from the roof and suspended in the stands, greeting fans and setting the spirit for the night to follow. Everyone was there ready to party, Miley style!
To get the crowd pumped for the pop phenomenon, Australia’s very own DJ’s The Faders played hits like, DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s ‘Turn Down For What’, Aussie X-Factor mentor, Red Foo’s new single ‘New Thang’ and the Sir Mix A Lot classic, ‘Baby Got Back’, featured on their new release F.U.N.2. Having seen the duo perform live, twice before, every performance has the crowd interacting and living in the moment (so much so was the case for our photographer, who was dancing along and missed the opportunity to take photos). The Faders understand their audience, and cater to the mood of the environment, overall enhancing the experience.
After a 20 minute set and 10 minute break, Brooklyn electronic R&B band Lolawolf, fronted by Hollywood actress born into rock royalty’s sphere, Zoë Kravitz along with James Levy and Jimmy Giannopoulos burst on stage with their nostalgic 80’s synths and Kravitz’s mature but playful vocals. They played tracks from their album Calm Down, released in Australia early, to coincide with this tour. They opened with fan favourite, ‘What Love Is’ and went on to play, what will surely be future hits for the band, such as ‘Bitch’ and title track, ‘Calm Down’. Kravitz owned the stage, as well as the drums, playing during some songs, capturing the audiences attention entirely.
Finally, it was time. The lights went down and Miley’s face appeared on the screen gradually moving up, until it came to a stop, while the title track of Cyrus’ latest studio album, Bangerz played. Suddenly her mouth started to open and out poured that famous tongue. Miley perched at the top getting ready to slide right down screaming out, “Sydney I wanna hear y’all make some m….. f…… noise”. The show kicked off with ‘Bangerz’ and country influenced track ‘4×4’.
After a quick change from her fluffy yellow outfit to an orange leotard, Cyrus came rolling down the runway of the stage on the hood of a 4×4 to ‘Love, Money, Party’ while making it rain on the crowd with her own personalised dollar bills. A bauble head version of Big Sean appeared to sing his verse of the party fan favourite.
Throughout ‘My Darlin’ and ‘Maybe You’re Right’, Cyrus roams the stage, picking up objects fan had thrown on stage and wearing them, before heading backstage. Fans who had thrown things on stage squealed with excitement as Cyrus wore their accessories with pride. She then reappeared in a pink dress with a feather train to sing ‘FU’ (the track featured in last years Victoria’s Secret Show) accompanied onstage by an orange puppet. Within a flash the feather train was off, leaving Cyrus in a sparkling leotard while performing a countrified version of ‘Do My Thang’, before jumping on a giant bed with her dancers for ‘#GETITRIGHT’.
While Cyrus headed backstage for another costume change, the screen started parting in the middle and out came a giant inflatable dog, Cyrus’s beloved Floyd, fully standing by the time the hit ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ started. The first song of the night that preceded the Bangerz era. After a brief interlude Cyrus told fans, “if you guys came here with someone you wanna make out with, I’m giving you the chance to make out with your sexy ass best friend,” before playing her latest single, ‘Adore You’. The screen lit up with a giant engagement ring, projecting fans on screen to take part in a passionate embrace.
Cyrus then took a moment to raise awareness to animal cruelty saying, “people take advantage of animals and the problem with that is a lot of them are going away, and we’re losing our finest teachers.” Amoung the many messages she spoke about on the night. She is about to be featured on The Flaming Lips new album titled ‘With A Little Help From My Fwends,’ a Beatles tribute album, which features Cyrus’ version of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ which she went on to perform. Cyrus stated all the proceeds go towards helping animals.
The sensation went on to perform three more covers including Bobby Bland’s, ‘I’ll Take Care of You,’ ‘A Boy named Sue,’ by Johnny Cash and the Led Zeppelin classic, ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ which showcased her versatile vocal abilities exceptionally. She then performed one more song, ‘Drive’ before heading to the B-Stage. She started the acoustic set on the B-Stage with ‘Rooting For My Babe’ before taking on the Jeff Buckley track, ‘Lilac Wine’ and her Godmother’s hit ‘Jolene,’ while dressed in Melbourne brand DI$COUNT UNIVER$E. A video interlude showing Cyrus rubbing black paint all over her body played on the screen before she returned to the main stage to perform her hit with Mike Will Made It, ’23’, while wearing an inflatable bottom.
She briefly left the stage again for another change, before playing the catchy track ‘On My Own.’ Then came one of the defining moments of the show, Miley riding the hotdog. Halfway through fan favourite, ‘Someone Else’, and the last song of the set, Cyrus, along with her giant hotdog flew over the crowd. She told fans, “now I told you, we only got a few more Bangerz tour shows left and do you know what I’m gonna miss most about this show? Getting to ride this big ol’f…… wiener every single night.” At the end of the song Cyrus exited the stage through the screens parting, while saying to the crowd, “Me and everyone on the Bangerz tour appreciate all of you coming out tonight Sydney, its been far too long since we’ve been here. We love y’all, thank you very much! Anything in this entire world can be yours, you can be anything you wanna be, and tell anyone who tells you to give up to go f… themselves! Goodnight everybody!”
Cyrus returned to the stage for an encore, performing the biggest hits of her career, ‘We Can’t Stop’ and the record breaking ‘Wrecking Ball.’ She twirled and danced on stage in a sparkling multi-coloured leotard and coat, joined by all her dancers for ‘We Can’t Stop.’ She then moved to the back of the stage for ‘Wrecking Ball,’ and made her way to the end of the runway. This was one of the few songs that focused solely on Cyrus’ vocals, leaving her alone on stage. She stopped midway down the walkway to pick up a book a fan had made her, taking it backstage with her at the conclusion of the encore.
But the show wasn’t over yet. Cyrus returned with her full troop of dancers to perform the 7x Platinum hit of 2011, ‘Party In The U.S.A.’ The American influence was all around with Cyrus dressed in red, white and blue, with dancers dressed as the statue of liberty, the liberty bell and a rainbow strutting down the catwalk. Before the last chorus, a platform raised with Cyrus standing proudly atop as streamers poured out of canons as Cyrus then took her final bows.
The night was a party from start to finish, she even stated that the Australian shows were the best of her tour. Cyrus entertained from the first moment to end, reminding some of classic all round performers. Although there were some show stopping and shocking moments, her strong powerful vocals as well as the immaculate entertainment quality stole the show.
Review by Any Other Day Photography
After the show fans had their own after-party in the foyer of Allphones Arena, dancing along to tracks from the house DJ. Fans also spotted The Block Glasshouse favourite, Karstan, who was bombarded by scores of fans wanting to take selfies.