‘Britney: Piece of Me’ at The Axis, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino

By John Buckley on 5 January 2016
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If you catch yourself walking around the Las Vegas Strip, it would be impossible to miss one of the signs for Britney Spears’ show, “Britney: Piece of Me,” currently at Planet Hollywood. It reads “Voted Best Show in Vegas.” I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the election had to have been rigged, and what I saw could hardly deserve the title. For someone with the fame and notoriety she enjoys, she proved herself to be a lackluster and disappointing performer at her second to last show of her original Las Vegas run on New Year’s Eve. She re-opens shortly with a slightly revised set list.

My Britney experience was the polar opposite of what I usually expect after being a fan of an artist over a period of time and then having the privilege of seeing them perform live, that I am blown away by the ability that person has to connect to everyone in the room. Artists of that caliber I have seen include Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Pink, Taylor Swift, Jessie J, Sara Bareilles, Hozier, and even Nicki Minaj. Spears was more on a par with Carly Rae Jepsen.

Spears lacks the charisma to fill a shoebox let alone the 7,500 seat Axis theater. When the show re-opens, the producers should consider renaming it from “Piece of Me” to “Piece of…” well, never mind that. Yes, it really was that horrendous an experience. Whatever piece of her I happened to walk away with, I really wish I could give it back.

“She charges people to see that?” I overheard one patron say as she hurriedly passed by my aisle seat while making a swift exit only one quarter of the way through the show. The two rows in front of us darted out after less than half the concert, one after the other. Other patrons seemed confused and must have thought Beyoncé was performing as they recited “I can’t take, can’t take, can’t take no more” and dashed out of the theater in swarms long before the end of the show. Happy New Year to you too.

The music that you know and love sounded great, but considering that the whole world knows she is lip-syncing night after night, this was no great achievement. The sets and the lighting make for a colorful show that makes it easy to be distracted from the lack of energy coming out of Spears. Playing any of her playlists from YouTube and dancing around our hotel room proved to be much more satisfying than watching her live. The choreography was stellar. Too bad Britney looked like a cardboard robot doing it. Her back-up dancers outshone and both figuratively and literally danced circles around her.

There might, however, have been an explanation for all this. The following morning, Spears Instagrammed a selfie of a bruise on her forehead with the caption “Good morning 2016! Don’t mind the little bruise on my forehead…Ran into a pole,” a statement that can’t help you wonder what had gone on the night before.

In the meantime, for much more fun and entertainment, throw some quarters in a Britney Spears slot machine, available everywhere on the strip.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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