By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
OKLAHOMA CITY —
When Rihanna and her Diamonds World tour came to Oklahoma City Tuesday, it was a cold and blustery evening. It was the first signs of winter this year in the state.
That could explain the slow start Rihanna got off to when she took the stage in front of a sold out crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena. However, the 25-year old Saint Michael, Barbados native quickly heated up the stage with a nearly two hour performance that was full of dancing, singing and unabashed sexiness.
Oklahoma was not part of her original tour schedule. She was set to be in Dallas in April, but after having to cancel it, she made some alterations to the tour dates.
“Oklahoma City, what the (heck) man,” Rihanna screamed to the crowd. “This part of the tour, is the end part of the tour. But it was really the surprise part of the tour. We needed to come back and do two shows we had canceled. We added in just three other cities. You are one of them. So we are about to get crazy.”
Before Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) took the stage, she had a surprise for fans. Her opening act was 2 Chainz, who hadn’t been in the city since he was arrested after a concert Aug. 21 when police discovered two semi-automatic pistols and a 12-gauge pump shotgun, along with some prescription painkillers and marijuana residue, on the tour bus he was in.
While 2 Chainz didn’t directly speak about the arrest, he did tell the audience why he came back.
“Regardless of what anybody says, I’m glad to be back in Oklahoma City,” 2 Chainz said. “You can’t keep me away from the fans.”
2 Chainz, who real name is Tauheed Epps, 35, went on to perform most of the same songs he performed at the America’s Most Wanted Tour in August. However, there was less glitz and glam. No boat on stage to promote his B.O.A.T.S. II album. It was just him, a mic and DJ. And it worked.
“Thank you for the support,” Epps said. “You know who you are.”
After a 35 minute break, it was Grammy award winner Rihanna’s turn. She came out wearing a see through shirt, knee high black boots and sitting on stage that rose up from the floor as she sang “No Love Allowed.”
Unlike most acts, she started off with a few melodies that were unfamiliar to many in the audience. That includes a reggae portion of the show.
But as the night wore on, Rihanna’s energy picked up with each tune and six costume changes. From the leather motorcycle pants and top to the slinky red dress split to her thigh, she definitely put as much thought in her look as she did her music.
“Oklahoma City, are y’all having a good time?” Rihanna asked. “I’m having a blast. Y’all rock. I love you. Keep that (stuff) up. I need you to do me a favor right now. I need you to say my name.”
That led directly into “What’s My Name?”
With her lead guitarist Nuno Bettencourt by her side, Rihanna performed such hits as “Umbrella,” “Rude Boy,” “Take a Bow,” “Where Have You Been” and she also got to “Only Girl (In the World),” “We Found Love” and “Love the Way you Live.”
Rihanna ended the evening by performing “Stay” and “Diamonds.”
“I love you Oklahoma City,” Rihanna said. “I love this energy from your city. I thank you so much. We will always come back here.”
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