Billboard is along for the ride on Rihanna's 777 Tour, a dizzying seven-day trip around the globe that will bring the "Diamonds" hit-maker to smaller-than-usual venues in Mexico City (Nov. 14th) , Toronto (Nov. 15), Stockholm (Nov. 16), Paris (Nov. 17), Berlin (Nov. 18), London (Nov. 19), and NYC (Nov. 20). Follow the trip with The Juice editor Erika Ramirez (@ 3rika and @ Billboard) and check out her diary below.
DAY TWO » 11.15.12 » TORONTO
Entries in Eastern Standard Time
9-10:30 a.m. | Although the flight from Mexico City to Toronto was short and sweet (4 hours to be exact), everyone moved and looked like zombies when arriving in Canada.
TOUR DIARY: DAY ONE IN MEXICO CITY
Rihanna, on the other hand, looked refreshed. (Duh.) In casual attire (grey sweats, Jordans, a fitted, and shades), she waited for her baggage with the rest of us passengers. Before 10 minutes could pass, she had a swarm of cameras following her and clicking at an unheard of MPH rate.
The bombardment had me wondering if the 24-year-old could ever get comfortable, let alone used to, people following her every move. Has feeding us crumbs of her personal life, more each time with every year and every album, backfired? Has living outside the lines made us fiends? It's the way of the entertainment world and we were granted a peek into its impact on her day to day.
3-5 p.m. | Before "Unapologetic" leaked in its entirety on Thursday afternoon, the album's collaborative track with Chris Brown surfaced.
On "Nobody's Business," the exes sing of their carefree status of their relationship and without really saying it, leave us waiting for more to keep our assumptions (and judgements) of their relationship fueled. Rihanna opens the dance hit, singing: "You'll always be mine. Sing it to the world. Always be my boy. I'll always be your girl. Ain't nobody's business." (Random thought: Do you love or hate that a song seemingly inspired by the hope of her and Chris Brown's relationship makes you dance?)
7-9:20 p.m. | DJ Congorock and DJ Reflex spun EDM and Hip-hop hits before Rihanna hit the stage, except the crowd seemed to pay no mind. Rolling Stone's Jeff Rosenthal, Spin's Julianne Shepherd, MySpace's Emily Zemler and I pulled double duty, trying to figure out their genre of choice or if they simply hated dancing, which we were happy to represent for opposing team while chatting.
9:21 p.m. | That time when the crowd at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall may have passed up a chance to hear "Nobody's Business" live…
"Do you guys want to hear a new song from 'Unapologetic' or 'Love the Way You Lie?'' she asked the audience, close to the end of her 70-minute long set. Majority ruled towards the latter. After performing "Diamonds," the singer transitioned into a stripped down, emotional performance of "Love the Way You Lie Too." The sequel to Eminem's hit is a telling story, itself.
The heart ruled the night, as she also performed a three ballad acoustic set, mid-way, for the second time on the 777 tour. "We got any hopeless romantics in the house?" she asked before "breaking it down acoustic" for "Unfaithful, "Take a Bow," and "Hate that I Love You.
TOUR DIARY: DAY ONE IN MEXICO CITY
Her voice resonated louder and better in Toronto than in Mexico City. But there was a moment , last night, where she slowed herself down during dance-heavy songs ("Only Girl in the World," "Don't Stop the Music"), a possible sign that the well-traveled superstar may not be immune to jet-lag.
Although we were in his hometown, Drake did not make an appearance when "What's My Name?" was performed, or for the seconds-long snippet of his song, "Take Care."
Rihanna kept her Toronto navy entertained through out the entire show, all by herself. She closed the night similar to the night before: in the middle of a dance floor, on her bodyguard's shoulders as "We Found Love" faded.
Quickly after the performance, we hopped onto our assigned bus and then boarded an 8-hour flight to Stockholm. I can understand how an artist can suffer from exhaustion. One has to make an effort to eat more than one meal, if that.
Saying that, two days down. Four more to go. Tonight? Berns!
- Rihanna (@rihanna) November 16, 2012
Toronto Set List:
2. "Birthday Cake (Remix)"
3. "Talk That Talk"
4. "Wait Your Turn"
5. "Man Down"
6. "Only Girl in the World"
7. "Don't Stop the Music"
9. "Phresh Off the Runway"
11. "Take a Bow"
12. "Hate That I Love You"
13. "Take Care" snippet, "Where Have You Been"
14. "What's My Name?"
15. "Run This Town"
16. "Live Your Life"
18. "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)"
20. "We Found Love"
NEXT: MEXICO CITY