By now you’ve undoubtedly heard about the fire that tragically cut short Rihanna’s show at the American Airlines Center on Friday night.
It figures that a little news would break out at one of the few shows to which our stingy music guy, Rich Lopez, has given the online editor tickets. Granted, my video of the fire isn’t the best because, I’ll be honest, I was among those scrambling for the exits. I was well aware of the Rangers fan who fell to his death at the ballpark in Arlington the night before, and I wasn’t about to get caught up in another North Texas stadium disaster.
By the time we reached the concourse, the fire was extinguished. And despite a large plume of foul-smelling smoke quickly filling the arena, many in the crowd obviously wanted Rihanna to come back on. According to the BF, she still hadn’t played several hits, including “Umbrella,” “Rockstar 101” and “Take A Bow” (which I’ve decided is my favorite). Then the PA announcer came on and said the remainder of the concert was canceled, people should evacuate and they would be “compensated.”
I haven’t heard anything more about the compensation of which he spoke, but I seriously doubt they’d give a full refund given that Rihanna had already performed for well over an hour.
It turns out the fire was caused by pyrotechnics that ignited a chair in the rafters above the stage. I had noticed the pyrotechnics — sparks raining down from above – during what turned out to be the last song of the show, “California King Bed.” I had also noticed that some of the embers continued to burn even after landing on the stage. But that still doesn’t explain why they would have a flammable chair in the rafters.
Anyhow, long before the fire broke out, Rihanna’s show was delayed about an hour. When we arrived at 8:30, opener J. Cole was finishing up his last song. It would be a long wait after he left the stage, and thanks to Twitter, we learned Rihanna was delayed on the tarmac in New York City by bad weather. Luckily, some groovy gays dancing in the crowd kept the audience entertained — including one who taunted an usher who told him to stop dancing on his chair.
Finally, sometime after 9:30 p.m., Rihanna made an elaborate entrance with “Only Girl (In the World).” And since I’m by no means qualified to write a review of the actual performance — even though I lamely attempted to take notes — I’ll spare you and leave you now instead with Chuck Dube’s slideshow and my video of the opening, which is below. Enjoy.