On The Download: Miley Cyrus Live At The House Of Blues
First Published: June 23, 2010 5:21 PM EDT Credit: Getty Premium
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Surely, even if you are not a fan, for generational-difference reasons (or otherwise), you have at least heard of the pop culture powerhouse known as Miley Cyrus. However, for those who don’t follow celebrity news as closely as others, 17-year-old Miley is in the midst of a media blitz surrounding the release of her latest album (“Can’t Be Tamed,” which was released Monday of this week) in which she is in-no-uncertain-terms, telling her fans now that she’s all grown-up.
The world has seen slight glimpses of her coming-out (as an adult) process over the past couple of years. Back in 2008, there was the Vanity Fair / Annie Leibowitz photo “scandal” (in quotes, because I myself didn’t think the shoot was scandalous at all), and her first take this past spring at a serious dramatic role in Disney’s “The Last Song,” considered by many (myself included) as a career misstep. Along the way, her live performances have gotten more and more racier (note: her live premiere of 2009 hit “Party in the U.S.A.” at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards), and with this latest album, Miley has launched an all-out declaration of her new identity.
MTV Networks hosted a live concert of selections from Miley’s new album on Monday night at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip (which streamed live on several MTV websites), and I had the opportunity to attend the show. Now, I am a huge fan professionally of the young Ms. Cyrus, for both her talent (in songwriting, live performance and voice) and her ability to be handling such intense media scrutiny at such a young age.
At Monday’s show, Miley demonstrated why she is transitioning from Disney teen star to pop star better than perhaps any teen that has come before her. Perhaps it is the stability of her family, or perhaps it is due to how early she started in the business? Either way, she was ready to impress, and impress she did.
Miley opened with the title track of her new album, which she had performed for a wider audience just the night before at the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto. In the live act, she almost issued a lesbian kiss with one of her dancers, but stopped short of going through with the Britney/Christina faux-effort. The song sounds great live though, and Miley didn’t lip-sync a single word during her show.
Miley went on to debut five more tracks from her new album, including soon-to-be-hit “Robot,” which will surely yield her another charting single (she herself said at the show that it’s the track which was most reflective of her emotions currently). She ended the streaming set with a song dedicated to the gay and lesbian community, telling a crowd of mostly teens that she does not understand how people can be discriminated against for loving whom they love. It’s a message that just five years ago, the handler of a star of her stature would have told her not to say. The fact that Miley is speaking up in 2010 is a powerful sign of the tidal wave of change forthcoming from her generation.
After the live stream ended, Miley went on to sing covers of a number of songs that she loves, including her sound-a-like’s (Joan Jett’s) “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” and “Cherry Bomb” (which is having a resurgence thanks to this past spring’s biopic, “The Runaways”). She concluded with huge fan reaction to her biggest hits to date, 2009’s “The Climb” and “Party in the U.S.A.”
In her one hour set, Miley often came across as honest in her interaction with her fans. It’s this refreshing honesty, which makes her so much more than just another teen queen trying to grow up. She is quickly becoming a force in the music industry with which to be reckoned.
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