Rain can't stop bad girl Rihanna

Rihanna is the kind of pop star parents have nightmares about: A bubblegum singer who elevates raunch to a high art and crams her teen-friendly songs with X-rated lyrics.

Rain can't stop bad girl Rihanna

She even has a boyfriend straight from the casting department in the form of controversial RnB singer Chris Brown.

In concert, she ratchets the scandal factor higher yet. Her new tour features pole dancing, microphone fondling, and an endless parade of barely-there evening wear, including at least one costume that initially looks as if it is primarily composed of translucent tissue.

If the mystery moral guardian who has been covering up skimpy Rihanna posters around Dublin is present they have surely spontaneously combusted from shock.

Rihanna is frequently accused of cynical, headline-seeking exhibitionism. However, the 25-year-old from Barbados backs up her sultry image with some genuinely compelling songs and a voice that flits between aching and sensuously soulful.

Her hair dyed vivid red, Rihanna opens with the stuttering ‘Phresh out the Runway’ from new album Unapologetic (her world view summed up in a single word, you suspect), stomping up and down the vast stage in knee-high boots while a troupe of black-clad dancers execute a series of baffling, artsy poses and her band cranks out are raw, heavy rock groove.

“Dublin what the fuck,” she tells the 50,000 sell out attendance.

“The rain came and tried to fuck us up. Fuck the rain. We are here finally — my favourite city in the world to perform.”

Steamy at the best of times, RiRi becomes downright saucy as she reaches for the 2009 hit ‘Rudeboy’, a tune with lyrics so explicit they practically make the ears sizzle.

The tempo is raised further on mega smash ‘Umbrella’ and ‘We Found Love’, the pumping happy/sad uberhit which conquered dance floors in 2011. Fifty thousand fans bounce up and down, leaving you in little doubt that, no matter what Beyoncé, GaGa, or anyone else thinks, right now, Rihanna is the biggest pop phenomenon on the planet.

4/5

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