Forget about the outbreak of mumps, The Schottenstein center broke out in Miley.
Icona Pop kicked the night off Sunday at the Schottenstein Center, and even though the duo did a pretty decent job, nobody really seemed to care. The fans were more interested in the Miley Cyrus look-alikes that were taking pictures with everybody.
Everywhere I turned, there was a picture of Miley plastered on a shirt, #twerk on a crop top and J’s on everybody’s feet.
After what I am sure felt like a lifetime to the crazed Miley enthusiasts, the lights turned down and bass started to play. A giant picture of Miley’s head appeared on the screen behind the stage. Her face changed expressions several times, but finally, her face fixed in a wink and gaping mouth.
The bottom jaw began to drop slowly and a pink slide extended, giving the illusion of Miley sticking out her tongue. Just when I thought the decibel of the crowd had peaked, the actual Miley Cyrus emerged from behind a cloud of smoke inside the mouth of the giant Miley head on the screen and slid down the “tongue slide.”
I think the Schottenstein Center was rocked off its foundation. Everybody was jumping and screaming and grabbing at their hair in pure lust as Miley Cyrus, wearing an extremely revealing sequined, checkered leotard, strutted onto the stage.
She began her Bangerz performance with the tour’s title song, “SMS (Bangerz),” and a lot of butt smacking and crotch grabbing. Backup dancers wearing similar costumes, as well as people dressed in furry, colorful animal costumes joined her on stage.
“SMS (Bangerz)” rolled right into “4×4.” There were images displayed on the screen behind the stage during every song, and no matter how hard I tried, I could make no sense of them. There was “purple drank” being spilled, body parts floating through space and a box fan blowing papers off a table.
After “4×4,” Miley descended below the stage, but after a few short moments, the screen behind the stage opened up and she came rolling out on a miniature gold car with shiny spinners wearing a leotard covered in marijuana leaves.
That was when it really started getting strange.
So she was grinding on the car, singing her song, grabbing at inappropriate parts of her body, when all of a sudden, a person wearing a giant black man, cartoon-looking head and giant cartoon-looking shoes rose from the stage.
Meanwhile, the car began to spit out money, Miley started wiping the money in her crotch, and the screen behind the stage was displaying pictures that made less sense than before.
I noticed while everyone around me was screaming in excitement, I was standing, virtually motionless, with my mouth hanging open. I must have been missing something, because nobody else seemed as appalled as I did. But I regained consciousness and tried to embrace the strangeness of Bangerz.
That is all Miley had to say to send a crowd of thousands into a royal tizzy. Overtop the screaming, Miley informed the crowd “tonight is going to be the biggest party you’re ever going to go to in your entire life.” I think the crowd knew it too, because they brought plenty of party favors.
The pop princess accepted at least two stuffed husky dogs from the audience, assumingly in commemoration of the death of her dog Floyd last week, and also a painting one of the fans made for her. Not to mention, countless articles of clothing were thrown onstage throughout the night.
During “Maybe You’re Right,” Miley helped herself to one of the fan’s belongings. Mid-verse, Miley reached into the audience and grabbed a bag of Sour Patch Kids from an audience member and began throwing them out into the crowd. She also had a few herself, yet managed to not let the chewy candy obscure her singing.
She left the stage again and returned in a sparkly red dress — the most clothing I had seen her wear since she chopped all her hair off in 2012. Of course, that was short lived, for after about two lines of “FU,” she tore the train off of her dress, leaving her in a shiny red — wait for it — leotard.
I was definitely not surprised by the wardrobe reform, but I must say, I was taken off guard by the entrance of the giant orange puppet that required two men to control.
“Do My Thang” was up next and with it, a little person dressed as a cowgirl. She and Miley smacked each other’s behinds until the song was over. Miley paused for a moment to thank the crowd and let them know she was having a “good a–- time” along with some other vulgar, yet affectionate language.
But if the swearing was not endearing enough, Miley does this thing at her shows now where she fills up her mouth with water and then sprays it onto her eager crowd. The people at the Schottenstein loved it. She even had to get a second bottle.
After Miley shared her saliva with hundreds of people, a massive inflatable husky floated onstage and with it, Miley, in a black and white furry outfit complete with butt-less chaps. Her butt cheeks were still in plain view, but it was a nice change of pace from, you guessed it, a leotard.
Miley threw it back a few years and sang “Can’t Be Tamed.” Behind the inflatable dog, the screen was playing what looked like a video game simulation of Miley riding a jet ski. Again, unexplainable, but if she is the mastermind behind the graphics, it really makes me worry what is going on inside her head.
After yet another costume change (black suit, no leotard), Miley performed “Adore You” and instructed the crowd to make out with someone around them (specifically condoning same-gender hook-ups) for the kiss cam that streamed on the big screen behind the stage.
The crowd complied without much coaxing.
“I like being in a house with a bunch of freaks,” she said after the song. Then the stage was cleared and Alt-J’s “Fitzpleasure” began playing, coupled with a very sexually aggressive video of Miley.
Miley was not performing, or even on the stage, but just the sight and sexual appeal of her excited the crowd.
Attention then turned to the opposite end of the auditorium, where Miley was sitting in a sequined flannel (I was really starting to miss the leotard) surrounded by her band. She sat and played a few covers including, “The Scientist” by Coldplay, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” by the Arctic Monkeys and Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”
This was a very normal and artistic portion of the night that shed a more personable light on the queen of twerking. It was a reminder that without all the bells and whistles, Miley Cyrus is a very talented musician, and even though she spits on them, she is very appreciative of her fans.
A female audience member got her attention at this time, and proposed. Miley gratefully accepted the ring and asked the crowd, “Is this even legal? Oh well, I guess it’s one of many illegal things I’ve done in Ohio.”
Attention was redirected back to the main stage, which was occupied by some real twerk specialists who really got the crowd going. Miley then rose from the floor in sparkly Jordan’s, a Chicago Bulls snapback and a black and red leotard (finally) and performed “23.”
The crowd erupted. By the end of the song, the stage was littered with bras and what looked to be panties. There was another quick costume change before Miley sang “On My Own” and “Someone Else.” She left the stage riding a giant suspended hot dog saying, “F— everyone, I love you!”
The exit gave the illusion the performance was over, but it was far from that. Wearing a white leotard, Miley performed “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball” accompanied by a woman dressed up as a joint and other women dressed as hands and lighters. I would bet money that a large portion of the audience was crying in pure, unadulterated joy. But the audience hadn’t seen anything yet.
“Party in the U.S.A.” capped off the night in a major way. There were people dressed up as former presidents scattered about the audience, red white and blue streamers and fireworks. Abraham Lincoln and the Statue of Liberty even showed up to the party.
Miley sang most of the song suspended from the ceiling, but as the cymbals were crashing their final crashes and the guitars were strumming their last strings, she quickly slipped in some false teeth and descended below the stage, cheesing with hillbilly-esque teeth.
Miley Cyrus is one strange gal — arguably gone off the deep end — but she puts on one memorable performance. Memorable and scarring can be used interchangeably here.