Rihanna promised a rock and roll adventure with her 777 Tour, and the chart-conquering vixen wasn’t bluffing. Day one kicked off with the “Diamonds” diva herself surprising the 150 or so journalists (including yours truly) and 30 fans on the jet in Los Angeles by walking up and down the aisles and greeting everyone. Cameras flashed, video crews hopped to their feet and, naturally, there was a chorus of “shine bright like a diamond” that broke out among the passengers.
I should point out that this early flurry of excitement was all before the aircraft even took flight. RiRi then hopped on the PA system and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have an emergency — it’s called 777!”
Later, once we were all properly in the air and en route to Mexico City — the first of seven stops on the week-long journey — a giddy Rihanna did the rounds once more, this time pouring champagne for journos and fans alike. It made for an intimate experience with the singer — one that most who signed up for the trek probably didn’t expect to have so early on (or at all).
That afternoon, the jet descended upon Mexico City, and the insanely-whirlwind 777 Tour began. Well, make that it began eventually. Rihanna and her entourage were whisked off to La Plaza Condesa, and concert-goers got warmed up for the gig courtesy of beats by DJ Congorock. Rihanna herself took to the stage an hour-and-a-half late — which she attributed to issues with luggage — but the crowd (made up largely of local radio contest winners and, of course, we writers) didn’t seem to mind, once the opening riffs of “Cockiness (Love It)” began blaring through the venue.
The rest of the night played out like a virtual hits parade, as RiRi, her band and two backup singers tore through songs both old-ish (“Umbrella,” “Disturbia,” “Unfaithful” and “Take A Bow”) and new (“Diamonds,” “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been”). As she did on her Loud Tour, Rihanna also offered up a medley where she belted out some of the famous choruses she’s lent her vocals to over the years, including Jay-Z‘s “Run This Town,” T.I.‘s “Live Your Life” and Kanye West‘s “All Of The Lights.”
One highlight that resonated well with the audience — i.e. it had them crooning along at the top of their lungs — was when the Barbadian superstar turned the night a bit tender with an acoustic rendition of her 2007 Ne-Yo duet “Hate That I Love You.”
All in all, Rihanna’s set list boasted 20 songs (21, if you want to count the 15 instrumental seconds of Drake‘s “Take Care” that were played during a super-quick interlude). And for that, Mexico City showed its appreciation with raucous cheering, late start time be damned.
Next up for the 777 Tour: Toronto. And be sure to catch even more photos from RiRi’s wild ride by following Idolator on Instagram!