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Britney Spears At Izod Center, Friday, August 5th, 2011

Here is everything Britney Spears had to tell the throngs of adoring girls who had flocked to New Jersey to worship at the stripper heels of the greatest disco star since Madonna:

1. New Jersey

2. I love you, New Jersey.

3. How you doing New Jersey? I can't hear you.

4. Do you want more? I can't hear you.

And her 90 minute set was as preset d as the conversation or as the  countdown clock ticking the minutes  till she reached the stage (a great idea that every band should use).

There was a guy on drums, an IT man, back up dancers. Everything was programmed., like a traveling company of Les Miz. Britney didn't dance well, barely sung, and seemed so withdrawn from what you was doing, she seemed doused in Zantax.

So this should be a big time dis, but I quite enjoyed it for what it was: the hits come to life with the leader of the pack re-enacting her videos with a distracted charm. You know what she's become? I'll tell you. When I was in High School there was a very popular, very vacuous girl named Claudine. Everybody was crazy for her, everybody wanted her approval. Everybody watched. But she was so shallow, you couldn't really speak to her, if she wasn't interested in you she had a way of speaking thru you. But still you wanted to be close to her. Still you wanted her attention.

That's Britney.

She doesn't REALLY give a shit.

Rather than performing her faintly ridiculous Femme Fatale tour; Britney wishes she was at home in Beverly Hills, snorting coke and fucking white trash bad boys.

So she gives as little as she can go away with.

From "Hold It Against Me" thru "Till The End Of The World", Britney is a vacuum in the middle of the energy, pulling in all light. She doesn't dance, she canters around the art deco stage with backup dancers anonymous doing the heavy lifting. The beats are all programmed but the sound is excellent (better than the earlier Nicki Minaj set, which was too loud). The half baked storyline (something to do with spies and, well, fatal women) isn't  taken seriously by any one and it is like being in the world's greatest disco.

There isn't much to choose songwise. If you loved it on the album, you'll love it here. "If U Seek Amy" is pretty good, The penultimate song of the set, "Burning Up" is much more energetic than the rest of it. Since it is a cover, I'm not sure why If all this is the faintest of praise, well, that's better than no praise. If you missed britney on a trapese bar singing "Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" catch her doing it years later to "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know" -an oldie ballad unlike her current work. She trucks in sex and dancing as sports, not romance in 2011

One reason you go to a concert is for an artist reveal, to get to know them a little. But Britney is a cipher. It should be a problem but beats lend themselves to two dimensional immagery: it lends them selves to avatars that can be prohected on and reflected back and Britney is excellent at this. The messiness of her personal dissipates and what is revealed is a bright sparkling nothingness -a vision of the thump of dubstep come to life.

So, yeah, a mix between a traveling company and a disco come to life, Britney went through the motions. She went through the motions pretty well.

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