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 THREE » 11.16.12 » STOCKHOLM
Entries in Central European Time
I think we’ve come to the part of the trip where one toe is dipped in delusion. And, it’s only day three.
The problem isn’t us all having one Rihanna song stuck in our heads every day, it’s that we’re unintentionally irking the person sitting near us by singing the hook in our shower-only voices. But hey, at least the choice of song seems to be changing for show. For me, earlier in the day: “Where Have You Been” and after the Stockholm show: “Talk that Talk,” including closing “Yeah.”
We’ve also started telling horrible jokes which none of us want to take the energy to say our horrible: “You exchange diamond necklaces to show that your tour bus friendship is official.”
3-6 p.m. | Most of us have been sleeping with one eye open throughout the 777 Tour, in case Rihanna walks through the aisles as she did on Wednesday (Nov. 14). This was the case with our eight-hour fight from Toronto to Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday.
After the flight, all passengers were escorted to their designated bus parked a few feet away from the plane. We trekked towards another part of the Stockholm Arlanda International Airport to pick up baggage.
As we’re waiting for our passports to be checked out and pick up baggage, we hear faint screams. “They heard from a radio station that Rihanna was coming into town. They’ve been waiting there for hours,” a bus attendant said of loyal Rihanna navy faithful lined near the airport fence. There weren’t details as to if Rihanna had come over to greet to them.
6:00 p.m. | Kanye West‘s fan club, Team Kanye Daily, instagrammed a handful photos of Kanye West and Lyor Cohen roaming the streets of Sweden. Speculations of a show appearance by ‘Ye begin to swirl shortly after.
Kanye & Lyor Cohen with the other, other Benz! instagr.am/p/SGbEPYkUHr/
– Team Kanye Daily (@TeamKanyeDaily) November 16, 2012
9:15 p.m. | As of now, the Stockholm navy has been the most hyped audience since the tour started. They moved every limb to DJ Congorock’s two-hour long set and weren’t shy to elbow one another to continue to do so and for a chance to capture an instagram-worthy photo of her.
Maybe it was the navy blood pumping faster than usual through the veins or, welp, the alcohol. Either way, Rihanna has a certain pull on her fans, even ones who were left with a bad taste in their mouths the last time she was in Sweden. One early-30s Stockholm born guy believed she was “high as a balloon” during the her show this summer, telling me “It was horrible. Will she be high this time? I hope not.”
Sidenote: Rihanna’s previous performance in Sweden was around the unfortunate time that her grandma, Gran Gran Dolly, passed away.
10:00 p.m. | Def Jam debuted a remix to Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” No. 1 hit, “Diamonds,” featuring Kanye. “OMG! WHAT IF YEEZY COMES OUT?” e-screamed my friend via text as I was live-screaming the same to Myspace’s Emily Zelmer.
11:40 p.m. – 12:50 a.m. | Rihanna stepped out into the stage later than scheduled, but looked flawless, nonetheless: white short sleeve shirt tucked into her denim shorts, a matching long denim jacket and a gold Chanel chain. Oh, and who needs a bra? Not Rihanna.
Rih seems to pull style inspiration from Aaliyah, as her ‘fits are reminiscent to the late singer’s in the late 90s. During her Toronto show, Rih wore a mid-drift tight shirt with low-cut baggy pants.
Her trend of wrapping the outerwear jacket around her waist, off and on stage, lives on with each step of the 777 Tour.
After apologizing for being late to the show and telling Stockholm “thank you for being the shit,” Rihanna rocked the same set as Toronto’s — sans “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)” and the rumored Kanye guest appearance. So much for crossing my fingers and toes. Unlike her Toronto show, fans didn’t choose between a new “Unapologetic” (Nov. 19) track or “Love the Way You Lie (Part II).” Rihanna went ahead and performed new song “Stay,” for the second time ever. She debuted the song during her musical guest appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ earlier this month.
Besides “Stay” and “Diamonds,” Rihanna also performed another “Unapologetic” song, “Phresh off the Runway,” which received the loudest response compared to the last two stops.
She continued to blaze through the 20-song set, giggling at times when she’d freestyle dance moves during her tracks as “Where Have You Been” and “What’s Your Name?” It’s refreshing to see that besides being a rebel for the sake of her happiness, Rihanna also isn’t embarrassed to take off her cool.
Stockholm 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”
20. “We Found Love”
AFTERHOURS | About an hour after the show ended, Rihanna headed downstairs to pour a few drinks for her 777 Tour traveling navy crew. Rih threw on a camo fatigue shirt and slid behind the bar for half-hour. “She’s loving this,” Adam Eisenberg, Island Def Jam’s Director, Artist Development, said of the singer spending time with her fans.