November 22nd, 2012
It’s a wrap. Looking back at the last 8 days leads to a mix of emotions. Sure there were moments when you thought you were on the verge of insanity with the echoing sounds of “Shine bright like a diamond” hauntingly ringing in your ears. But there was also a widespread unity from everyone on the trip that will be surely missed.
When the trip was first proposed in the office, there was a sort of cautious approach I took to the idea. How many media people? 150? It’s going to be every man/woman for themselves. It’s going to be a cutthroat atmosphere. But in reality it was the opposite. We became instant friends, shared stories and jokes, played with on-camera ideas and in the end, made more or less the trip about us. While the combination of 17 hours of sleep in 7 days was beginning to turn us into zombies, there was a sadness at the end of Tuesday’s show knowing that this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip was coming to a close.
London and New York were Rihanna’s best performances. The crowd in London gave a second wind to everyone on tour. We had more than 2 hours to rest and refresh ourselves so that helped and the venue was the perfect spot for RiRi. She seemed a little on edge yelling “Haters are liars,” which I have to believe was aimed at the bad press she was getting. But the energy in the crowd soon loosened her up for the rest of the performance and her ride back to New York.
After a 6-hour delay, which by now just felt regular, we were on our way to New York City. Upon boarding, we were told to have our cameras ready for a special appearance by Robyn Rihanna Fenty – we were skeptical but ready. The 7-hour flight passed with nothing. That is until the end. RiRi’s band came out of first class to perform a few acoustic ’80s hits to a very uninterested crowd. The gesture was nice.
Then with 3 minutes to land, she popped her head out. She leaned up against the wall as photographers rushed to the front for pics with our plane merely moments from landing. Before anyone could ask her a question our captain told us to return to our seat or we won’t be able to land. He was ignored. “What was your favourite show?” “Will you do this again?” “When are you playing in Ireland?” After a week of ups and downs, good press and bad press, those were the 3 questions she’s asked. Sad. The captain, this time with annoyance in his voice, repeated his comment. Nobody left until she did. She snuck back into her seat and there were 50 camera man struggling to find a seat as we were landing in 30 secs. It was a perfect description of how this tour had been: chaos.
Webster Hall brought us back to reality. We were somewhat home. The crowd was the typical New York crowd: knowledgeable, stylish and chill. The show was her best of the tour. Performed with more emotion and less “background vocals” than any others on the trip. She finished with a bang and proved no matter what, she is the real deal when it comes to performing.
At the end of the day it’s not about us (media) it’s about Rihanna. The media might complain that we didn’t get what we were promised, but at the same time when do rockstars actually stick to their promises? Were we ever left in a country? Were we ever stranded? Did they ever tell us “we have to pay for a certain hotel”? We were taken care of very well. We stayed at the nicest hotels in the most amazing cities and we saw some of the most spectacular venues in the world. Complaining brings a new definition to #FirstWorldProblems. It was an experience of a lifetime and for that I thank Rihanna!Tweet