Make us your home page
Instagram

Miley bangs it out in Tampa

TAMPA — Undulating on a flying frankfurter, sliding down a tongue out of her own IMAX-sized maw, grinding up on a Kong-sized inflatable wolf (wait, I might have hallucinated that last one), Miley Cyrus gamboled about her playpen at a sold-out Tampa Bay Times Forum Thursday doing her darndest to prove that no other 21-year-old on the planet gets away with more naughty hijinks.

She's thorough, you have to give her that.

But the truth, revealed by the end of this two-hour spectacle in front of 14,558 tizzied teen girls, is that Billy Ray's kid isn't as raunchy as she tries so hard to be. And we, collectively agog at her antics, aren't as prudish as we become when judging the former Disney princess. It's a fascinating pop-culture arrangement. We feed off each other. Group hug? Okay, maybe not.

Let's unleash the madness: After an opening set by Icona Pop ('member them, Swedish duo, I Love It?), it was time for Miley, who had teased her local gig by flashing the online masses with a frisky 'kini snapshot from St. Pete Beach then a followup topless doozy stressing the importance of sunblock.

Making a reported half-million bucks per gig, she emerged at 8:02 p.m., zipping down that tongue and bumping into the titular track from her latest LP Bangerz. From the get-go, there were racy cartoons and plummeting balloons, little people and giant people, pink gorillas and green tigers. It looked like "The Banana Splits" if Hanna-Barbera were wanted on obscenity charges.

It turns out Miley was holding back when she was here a few months ago for the Jingle Ball. If that was foreplay, this was. Um, yeah, so for Love Money Party, she was dressed in a cheeky pot-leaf onesie doing lascivious calisthenics on a spinning gold car. It didn't sound all that great, but you couldn't look away. I'm pretty sure the little person was dressed as a cop and doing something awful with a baton, although I may have hallucinated that, too.

Amidst more f-bombs than a Richard Pryor set, the star riffed on her sunburn ("I passed out on the beach") and thanked everyone for coming. Then she cleared the stage save for her live band and revealed Good Miley: a talented singer-songwriter, wailing out retro torcher My Darlin' in her full-throttle mountain holler. In a vampy red dress, she serenaded a glowing puppet — think Big Bird's bad-seed cousin fresh out of juvie — with belted ballad "FU."

Yes, Miley was all over the place, but she's smarter than you think. And there wasn't a second that was phoned-in, the clean and the dirty, all of it alternating in a tireless Dayglo scrum. For all the crotchular theatrics during techno-hoedown Do My Thang, she choreographed the heck out that sucker. "We like it a little bit slutty up in this building," she low-browed before "#GETITRIGHT," and yet the song itself was a catchy joy.

In her most charming moment, Good Miley — the real Miley? — got down-homey for an acoustic set on a small stage in the back of the house. Before sweetly covering Aunt Dolly's Jolene, Coldplay's The Scientist and Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, the Twitter Queen asked everyone to stop tweeting, the very height of irony. But bless her for bringing Bob to the young'uns.

Okay, so if you were a parent here, you DIED during Adore You when a roving kiss-cam turned soft-core. Despite her kind leanings and serious work ethic, Miley is a decidedly R-rated franchise these days. But in a way, that's to her credit, too. When she was Hannah Montana, the screams in this place were high, ear-splitting. The cheers for encores of We Can't Stop, Wrecking Ball and Party in the U.S.A. were noticeably lower-pitched. Miley doesn't quite know what she wants to be and neither do the fans who have followed her from the start. That they're all growing up, and finding out, together is rather poetic punctuation to all that silly sin.

Miley bangs it out in Tampa 03/20/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 21, 2014 10:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.
  2. Local craft beer of the week: Plongeur a L'eponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Tarpon Springs' Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. has a somewhat idiosyncratic approach to wild ale brewing, utilizing an open brewing approach involving uncovered fermenters in order to brew beer with local ambient microbes, reminiscent in some ways to the fermentation techniques used by rustic farmhouse breweries in Belgium …

     Plongeur a?€š€™L?ˆš??ponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, 6/23/17  Electric Chair Sour Shandy, Angry Chair Brewing, 6/30/17   Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA, Motorworks Brewing 7/7/17
  3. ‘80s acts dominate lineup of 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

    Blogs

    Oh, yes. Christmas is coming early this year to ‘80s fans in Florida. Disney’s Epcot Center has announced the lineup to its “Eat to the Beat” concert series that coincides with their annual International Food & Wine Festival.

  4. Equality Florida leader honored at Tampa U2 concert

    Briefs

    TAMPA — Equality Florida director Nadine Smith couldn't attend last week's U2 concert in Tampa, but she can tell you which of her friends had great seats for the June 14 show at Raymond James Stadium.

    Nadine Smith, Equality Florida founder and CEO, received a unique distinction last week when U2 included her in a montage of photos saluting activism and women leaders.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 23

    Events

    Leslie Odom Jr.: A solo concert by the Broadway star who won a Tony for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. 7 p.m., Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35.50-$55.50. (813) 229-7827.

    Leslie Odom Jr. accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in "Hamilton"  during the 70th Annual Tony Awards  on June 12, 2016.  (Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)