When the exciting invitation came through to jet across the world like diamonds in the sky — eye to eye, no less — with Rihanna on her mile-high 777 Tour, I jumped at the chance. Moments later, once the initial star dazzle wore off, I decided that perhaps it might be too big of an undertaking, traveling to seven different cities in seven different countries over seven days. Eventually, with only a week to go before the trip, I convinced myself that it was, in fact, an opportunity of the oft-rare “once in a lifetime” variety, and signed up. Shine bright like a diamond.
Alas, on day four of this globe-trotting promo blitz, my stamina has proven to be no match for that of She Who Is RiRi. At least not today, in Paris, where here I sit on my hotel bed at 2:26 a.m. local time on Sunday (November 18), jet-lagged into submission so much so that I never made it out to the Unapologetic singer’s gig at Le Trianon.
Just to recap, Rihanna wowed her 200-or-so-deep plane-load of fellow passengers — journalists and fans alike — on Wednesday (November 14) as the 777 journey got off to a bubbly start via the singer pouring Ace Of Spades for us. We eventually made it to Mexico City later than scheduled, which caused Rihanna to be tardy for her gig. But she knocked out an impressive 20-song setlist in the end. So oh, na, na for that.
We were then bussed to the airport, where the aircraft took off for Toronto (late, allegedly due to an earthquake in Mexico City — which, given the shielded bubble I’ve been in during this trip, was a bit disturbia-ing to find out after the fact). But arrive we did, and after a few hours daytime sleep in a hotel, it was off to the concert venue, where the Canadian audience on Thursday (November 15) night was somehow even more ebullient than the Mexican crowd. That at least temporarily helped push aside the sleeplessness that was inevitably beginning to set in.
Once the gig ended, it was off to Stockholm, via our second red-eye in a row. Unable to catch some Zs, I watched Psycho during the flight. Some people have their comfort movies like Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman and The Notebook. I have Norman Bates in drag, putting his cutlery to work on those who dare cross his creepy threshold.
Stockholm allowed for tour opener DJ Congorock to congo-rock out even longer than usual, since RiRi was two-hours-and-45-minutes late hitting the stage. But, hey, if you’ve been up for nearly two days straight, what’s standing around for a spell longer while pushy Swedish dudes turn muscling themselves in front of you into an art form and girls spiral into sloppy wine-glass-shattered-on-the-floor drunkenness? SOS, please, someone help me, etc.
An after-party in Stockholm that kicked off around 1 a.m. held the promise of shoulder-rubbing with RiRi, but I opted for an altogether sexier plan: catching the bus back to the hotel to upload the snaps I took at the concert, all for you, dear readers. (See them in the gallery above.) Call me “Devotion” Daw. Later, word on the street was that the “Diamonds” doll didn’t show up at the shindig until well after 3 a.m. anyway, which was about the time I finally passed out.
Saturday (November 17) we were back on the road, in the air and on our way to Paris — somehow a 10-hour event, despite the two-hour flight time — where, upon arrival, the sluggish luggage carousel took a good 80 minutes or more to begin spitting out our flight’s bags. All the better excuse to start mingling and shooting the breeze with fellow bloodshot-eyed journos who also lack the steeled, experienced travel endurance of our gal RiRi.
It was at this point, as we were carted to the hotel, that I felt the dreaded three-second nodding finally settle in — you know, where you’re so out of it that your eyes close, your chin starts repeatedly dipping downward and you look like a human bobblehead. I knew it was time to go into survival mode. A choice had to be made. And so Rih lost out over my first sitdown meal in a restaurant of the trip and, ultimately, sleep. Yep, I played hookey.
Don’t feel too bad for the pop queen, though (Rihanna, that is — not me). She got her revenge in the end. Around midnight, I woke up, frightfully unaware of the day it was, what country I was in or, for that matter, which continent I was on. In some respects, I guess you could say I experienced what it must feel like to actually be Rihanna on constant basis.
And so there sits my ticket to RiRi’s Paris show (pictured up top) under the dim glow of the hotel desk lamp. She may have beaten me into sleepy submission this time, but it ain’t over till it’s over. And we’re only at the halfway point of the 777 Tour. Next stop: Berlin.
Be sure to follow Robbie’s sleepless exploits on the 777 Tour via our Instagram account (follow us there at “Idolator”).