I'm a fan for about 12-13 years now, regulary visiting exhale as a guest ever since.
I've attended POM in Berlin and wanted to clearify my mind by writing down my thoughts - so why not sharing it with you?
As it will be a quiet big post, I tried to structure it a bit, so anyone can read what they are interested in.
The Early Entry Ticket:
I bought the EARLY ENTRY package. My best friend, who is not a fan, joined me. We received an e-mail by livenation to register from 4pm to 5.30pm, the entry would happen at 6pm, show beginning at 8pm.
I mailed ticketmaster months before, because I wanted to know how many early entry tickets they sold and if everyone will be able to stand first row. They told me, that the amount of tickets is not that big because ist exclusive and a spot in the first rows is guaranteed. To be in the first row, they recommended to come early and register early.
That being said, we went to the arena at 11.30 am.
There were already a lot of "regular ticket" fans waiting and also some early entries. Some of them were there sind 7 am, if I remember it correctly.
One of them had a pen and wrote numbers on arriving fans ("come first, be first").
I actually felt a bit uncomfortable because a lot of them were too* loud, just too* extra. *for my personal taste.
Waiting itself was very, very uncomfortable. There were no toilets, Hotels refused to let people in, so we had to walk a bit to find a toilet. Because of that, people did not really drink a lot.
There were some Britney fans dressed like BOMTney or MATMney, the Hook-Up-Onyxney or one wearing the red BBMA-Outfit form 2016 (she also had Britneys Womanizer cover tattooed on her arm).
When registration started, everything went quite good and calm. We showed our passports and received a small paper gift bag with our promised merchandise. It was this wristband-jewelry thing. It looks kinda unisex, so I was okay with it. But: that was everything we received. A paper bag with a cheap looking wristband. Oh, and a lanyard with a "VIP" thing hanging on it. The same paper was being used to wrap the wristband around. I really got to say: that was cheap as ****.
Waiting time part 2:
After receiving our tickets we had to go out again and were waiting in line. We met some cool fans and talked a bit. I suddenly recognized one of her dancers walking by. I reached out my hand and kinda stopped him without touching him and asked him, if we could take a picture. He looked a bit surprised, maybe also a bit annoyed for a second but then was really really kind, smiled and instantly layed his arm around me and we took a photo. I thanked him. I don't think the other people recognized him. There where two other dancers walking by (two times) and they also took pictures with the fans. But they weren't the ones that I was "familiar" with so I did recognize them to late. I think all of Britneys dancers are sweethearts.
We then were allowed to enter a waiting room. There it started to get messy. People who came a lot later than us were suddenly standing right behind us, because they pushed forward. It really annoyed me, how pushy those fans were.
Waiting in this room, I looked at an open door on the right, like 2m before me. It was the backstage room for the staff team. I suddenly saw Britneys dad Jamie, but only for a few seconds, and some dancers, for example Michael Stein.
The arena staff members told us to stay calm and that everyone will be front row, as the stage is big enough and has a catwalk. After waiting for some more, they opened the door and people started running like there was a tsunami behind them. Staff in the arena tried to stop them from running, but no chance.
I walked fastly but did not really run, but I was still in first row, just in front of the balcony on the right side of the stage, where Britney starts the show.
Waiting part 3:
It was like 6pm and we still had to wait for about 2 more hours. As no drinks were allowed (no bottles, no tetrapacks, no cups…) We really felt thirsty. There was a guy for a moment who sold beer, as I do not drink, this wasnt an option for me. One of the fans next to me really felt sick because of dehydrating. We asked the security stuff (standing between us and the stage) if they could send someone to sell some water to us. Their answer was "go back 2m and you will have fresh air, we do not have water" and "that is the price for being front row". That was so rude, I was really shocked, as the price for being front row was 230€ and waiting for hours with no drinks or toilets. Regular ticket holders came across a bar when they went in, but early entries never had the chance (seperate entrance) or they risked to loose their standing spot.
After some time, a lot of people felt sick and asked them again and again and then they finally brought us some water.
Here I have to say something about the "fans".
I mean they were all friendly, but for me it was too annoying and just too much. Also, there were a lot of "fans" claiming they are big fans, by dressing like Britney, wearing fan-shirts, singing her songs and stuff, but when I got to talk with them, a lot did not really know anything at all. My best friend said "hey, I know more about Britney because of you then them!", and that was so true. I am sure there also were hardcore fans who love her and know a lot about her but I think the majority of the people I saw or talked to, somehow love to be close to a superstar and who are into Britney "the brand", "the superstar", "the badass chick", but not really into Britney the person. I could give you more examples, but trust me, there were some celebrity-obsessed people. At least that is my assumption. I did not wear a fan shirt, I do not have a single poster on my wall, I haven't bought all of her albums or singles - I buy what I enjoy, I support what I like, and I critizise what I do not like - just like I would do with my friends. But it kinda made me angry, that they did not know half as much as I do, yet acted liked they are the biggest fan in town. Right behind us was a girl dressed as ringleader-Britney. She was kinda nice but at the same time I was so annoyed. She was one of the regular ticket holders and got something to drink at the bar. When the arena staff finally brought us some water, she was one of those people reaching out their hands and screaming for water the loudest, even though we, who were without water for about 5-6 hours, haven't got anything. When we got a bottle of water, we shared with her. Hopefully our karma will improve by this - lol.
Pitbull started like 5min early (7:55pm). He had a really small stage, as the curtains were hiding Britneys stage and he performed infront of those curtains. He was really friendly, in good mood, partied hard and tried to make everyone feel excited. He told us that he was asked to open for her and even though he wasn't able to bring his full production on tour, he said yes, because he respects Britney for who she is, for her experiences with the showbiz. He also said, that Britney had a lot of ups and downs but that she came back stronger than ever. The crowd cheered so loud!! That was one of the moments I felt great - because "Britney" and not "Britney the brand" was being celebrated. His female-only dancers were great. A lot of charisma. They had eye-contact with us and were so likeable, even though I did not really like the choreos.
I actually did not feel very entertained by Pitbull. Not because of him personally (he was super nice!) but because I did not know all of the songs and the ones I knew live from the collaborations he did. I am not really into rap alone.
At one point, people were screaming "britney, britney, britney!" and he said something like: Guys, Britney wants me to open her show, here I am and I think we will have a great time" - I felt a bit awkward, because he wanted to rock the stage and all people cared about was Britney. I mean common - she will be here soon enough. At least I thought so.
The show starts:
We waited till around 9:45 pm (Pitbull stopped one hour before and people started to become annoyed) and then finally the show started. As we were front row, we could see everything up-close.
Britney walked onto the balcony just in front of us.
And I got to say: she looked soooooooo good.
I actually did not think that she was so tiny like everyone was saying. Yes, she isn't tall, but not a dwarf either.
What I reallly have to say is: she is super fit. When I saw the pictures of her doing sightseeing in Berlin, I thought she gained some weight. But she really is super super fit, flat stomach, a booty to die for and she was smiling.
I took a lot of videos, and watching them, I got to say: Britney really looks so much fitter in reality. It's like: I took those videos, I know how fit she looks, how can a recording be so different? One of my DYWCO clips comes kinda close to how she really looks, but besides that, she looks way different in real life.
I hated the outfits in the videos I saw, but they really look good in real life. They are very glittery and fit her really well. Some bras were a bit too small maybe, as she sometimes re-arranged her ******* - lol.
She looked so good at the start of the show, and then put them together. And then it started to become annoying.
Again and again and again she was touching her her, checking her ponytail…. My friend starting laughing, people I met after the show realized it, the media is talking about it. It was so irritating… She also checked her self in the monitors again and again.
Overall show experience:
As I watched a lot of videos for the past 5 years - the show wasn't really new to me. I actually felt totally calm. It's hard to describe. I was not really excited. Before I attended the concert, I imagined seeing Britney and that nearly made me cry. Being just in front of her - it nearly left me bored. I mean she looked great, fit, she smiled. But it felt like I was watching a video - but not in a good way.
I thought about it a lot.
I came to the conclusion, that it is a combination of "I saw a lot of videos" + "it was surreal to see her after all this years" and most importantly a "lack of connection".
I never cared that much about Britney lipsynching. But being there, I changed my mind. When Pitbull came out and talked to the audience, walked towards our side of the stage… he felt "reachable". Kinda close, intimate.
Britney did not have eye contact with any of us, as she was looking straight above us. I do not know how to explain. Maybe by saying, that it felt like she was performing for a camera at the back of the arena. And we just watched her performing for this imaginative camera. By not singing anything live, it just made this gap between her and us even closer. Her dancers had eye-contact once in a while with us and Pitbulls girls really eye-f***ed us. People behind us were saying this aswell "they were looking at you guys all the time!!".
At one time, Britneys mic fell of, and she rearranged it. My friend had to laugh because Britney gave one of her dancers a "oh ****, that wasn`t planned"-look. At one point, I cannot remember for which song it was, the dancers gathered in the middle of the stage and Britney was with them and she kinda talked to them during the performance. Like saying a few words and doing hand signs. It was so irritating. I mean: you are performing! At least give us the illusion.
She also lipsynched to vocals that could not even be sung like that (computer effects) and I just do not get why.
A girl behind me said "she is running through the songs!" and that describes it really good. I have videos showing that so clearly. After the womanizer break she is standing in this circle of lights and instead of standing there for the planned time, she just walks back and is waiting for the dances to built this human-stairs-thing. It just felt rushed. She often run to the back of the stage to change for the next song, even though the performance wasn't finished.
She also was not on beat or spot on with the lyrics. Singing "you want a Lamborghini?" and doing the sip-martinis-move.
During make me she managed to be on beat and the crowed went nuts, because it looked so good. (It is where she goes down on her knees and bends over with this loud sound). Music and move had a match and thats how it should be all the time.
Yes, she is Britney Spears, yes she is one of the most successfull artists ever. Yes, she hasn't anything to prove. It is her choice. But I am a marketing student and as I work with "brands" and how to treat them correctly, I just have to say she is ruining her brand. Like you do not have to out-do yourself. Just make sure, that you do decent, serve quality. Maintain your brand, your legacy.
I am still a supporter of Britney the Southern-Louisiana girl with the lily-white as*, but at the current level of performing I will not attend another concert of hers. Her music is great, her likeabilty is great, she looks great. But her show looks like a really good rehearsal for a show that might start in a few months with a lot of improvements left til that.
I would prefer her sitting on a chair singing live (her voice might not be the best-trained one, but it is so beautiful to me) or just talk about her experiences in showbiz, about collaborations, she could cook rice on stage and comment it - it would be so cool because you could actually see and experience "Britney" and not feel so distant.
As the show ended, I took some confetti as a souvenir, left the arena, met went to McDonalds, had 2 burgers and went to bed. And until this day, it feels surreal and not to sum up in a single word.
My rating: 6,5/10
Cool to see her, great dancers, great band, amazing remixes (my friend said he felt like he was visiting a rock concert) but definitely not worth 230€. Even 80€ would be kinda much, considering I had to pay for travelling and hotel and so on. I do not totally regret it, because it was great to see her and I like her as the person that I imagine her to be and the show was not bad, but also not what Britney Spears, one of the most talented and beautiful women on earth could deliver. It is in her.
Maybe just stop touring and only do high quality promo performances once in a while where she could dance hard because she won't have to keep going for 1,5h.
Maybe take a break and do nothing else then being a mom and enjoying life and come back when she feels the adrenalin in her vains again.
Britney, If you are reading this. Contact me. It would be a pleasure for me to do your marketing and create amazing concepts with you (!) that you like and that we fans like. Let me be your fan-correspondant! LOL.