Last night I stupidly decided to forego watching what was an apparently death-tastic episode of True Blood and The Leftovers to settle in with some Watermelon Pucker cocktails for the Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour NBC special — which amounted to two hours of concert footage from Barcelona with some added behind the scenes stuff mixed in. As Miley voice overs about her fans at the start of the special: “I feel that they think that I’m some sort of leader, and I’m giving them kind of the push to go forward.” So, OKAY THEN, good thing she doesn’t have any kind of complex going on or anything. In all seriousness, though, it’s easy to snark on Miley — I mean, she makes it really, really easy — but watching the concert footage is a reminder of how much work goes into these performances, and despite however much of a hot mess she comes off a lot of the time, the girl really busts her ass. As with last time I got myself into this situation, I went all in fully prepared to sh*t all over everything and ended up being mildly impressed. So for better or for worse, here’s my random takeaways from the Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour experience.
- It’s really telling that we’re not in Hannah Montana Land anymore that this aired from 9:00-11:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, despite the target audience being, I don’t know, 13-year-old girls? (And probably a fair share of middle-aged single men.) There was a parental advisory sign hanging up during the concert and I wasn’t sure if it was part of the show or something that NBC required. It was twenty-five minutes into the special before she broke out the marijuana sunglasses, but other than that drug references outside of the lyrics to her songs were pretty scant.
- Miley enters the concert on a giant tongue slide (which you may have heard about, thanks to an injury lawsuit) coming out of a giant graphic of her face that slowly and eerily opens its mouth, which, I have no idea why, but kind of reminded me of the intro to You Can’t Do That On Television — something that always weirdly disturbed me as a kid. Whoever designed Miley Cyrus’s set and came up with that intro probably were on the same drugs.
- There was a lot of cool animation used as a backdrop to the concert that most Miley Cyrus fans probably didn’t understand or appreciate. John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren and Stimpy, famously designed a lot of the artwork for the tour.
- Miley was accompanied supposedly by her mother, (not seen on camera) younger brother Braison and 14-year-old sister Noah for the European leg of the tour, and it’s pretty obvious how much Noah emulates and idolizes her sister, but I’m not sure how much of it is really appropriate for a kid. I mean, she’s a Cyrus, so presumably she’s going to be screwed up eventually, I guess.
- Mystery solved of why 53-year-old Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips hangs out with Miley Cyrus: He apparently writes songs with/for her. This is not a bad thing. At one point she was singing a song that “Wayne wrote for her” that sounded a little bit like “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.”
- At one point Miley Cyrus dresses up like Big Bird and dances around on stage with a big muppet thing that looks like a lanky Snuffleupagus. I don’t know if this was intentional or not.
- The husband was definitely not impressed with the whole thing, but on the plus side this will probably be the last I hear of his bitching while I watch True Blood. Random husband thought: “The dollar bills on her outfit kind of look like Nick Kroll’s face.” YOU’RE WELCOME.
- There’s a whole entire scene devoted to Miley’s backup dancers raving about how much they love her — so take that, accusations of Miley exploiting midgets and appropriating ratchet culture! It was obvious that they wanted to make it very, very clear that these people felt like they were working for the second coming of tonguey Jesus.
- Towards the end of the show, Miley rides around on a giant hot dog. If that was a euphemism for something, it was lost on me.
- Miley wears a lot of interesting and flamboyant costumes during the concert, but I think my favorite was what basically amounted to a grunge-style plaid shirt covered in a sequins and no pants. I think that was probably the most conservative outfit of the evening.
- During Miley’s cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” when she says “alright now fellas,” all fifty gay men in the audience triumphantly yell. For some reason either they cut out the “OK now ladies” part or she didn’t sing it because it would have been deafening.
So there you have it. Overall my feelings on Miley Cyrus are that while she makes a lot of questionable decisions that she’ll probably regret someday, she’ll never end up as an Amy Winehouse or Lindsay Lohan and she’s not a complete a-hole like the Bieber kid so, if anything, watching this footage only further cemented that. A little work ethic goes a long way, regardless of how much pot you smoke or ass you flash. Just for the love of everything holy, somebody just keep her away from that Richardson guy.