Heather DeLuca - 95.1 WAYV

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

3 Reasons to see Christina Aguilera LIVE!

Christina Aguilera is coming to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on March 31st. For me this is the most highly anticipated concert tour of upcoming 2007 for 2 reasons: 1., because the last time Xtina toured with Justin Timblerlake for Justified and Stripped their AC show at the Hall was abruptly cancelled due to a freak lighting collapse incident. Thus my VERY good seats were unusable and the show was never rescheduled, and 2., because Back to Basics (Aguilera's latest disc) is THE BEST body of work to come along in five years.

Three years ago I was hugely attached to the songs on Christina's Stripped CD. I wore it out until it had scratches and could be played no more. In 2002 I believed that release all but broke Christina away from the bubble gum pop movement she was grouped into in the late 90's. I obviously was compelled to see the live stage show to support Stripped because I was chomping at the bit to see the set's songs in a live arena. No such luck. I missed the Philly show the night before since I had tickets the next night to Boardwalk Hall and although Xtina threw in an extra American leg of the Stripped tour, that TOO was cancelled when the songstress suffered vocal problems and was ordered bedridden by her doctor. I was a bit bitter but I moved on. I just didn't think the material could get better than Stripped. I was wrong.

And here I insert my first reason for why YOU need to see Xtina live and in person.

#1--Back to Basics is Christina's most ambitious and creative collection of material yet. Gone is the angst-ridden, chap-wearing, black hair-dying, sexy in-your-face Christina of days past. Her image and music have been rounded and softened, not by her endless brigade of handlers, but by Xtina herself. Somewhere between Stripped and Basics Christina was kidnapped and turned from brash party girl to demure starlet circa 1930. But although she may look more shy than in times past, the music is anything but. The vocals and lyrics on the double-disc Basics are as powerful as anything, and don't sound like anything else out there right now. Its big band, retro, jazz, AND pop all with a twist you've never heard before. Tunes like singles "Ain't No Other Man" and "Hurt" touch the tip of the iceburg of just HOW good Back to Basics is. Pick it up and leave songs like the homage-paying "Back in the Day" and Andrews Sisters-inspired, racy "Candyman" on replay and you'll see what I mean.

#2--I was lucky enough to see Christina live ONCE at the Tweeter Center during her first headline tour in 1999. And what I can tell you is her stage show does not disappoint. Yes this girl can siiiiiing. You know that. But she PERFORMS just as convincingly as Madonna, Janet, or even Britney. And although those artists have singing ability, they do not possess the singing GIFT. So what I am saying is that while engaged in full-on choreography Christina does not need a headset or backing tracks--she hit EVERY note EVERY single time.

And finally, #3--Back to Basics has many instances of a circus theme, so I would imagine Aguilera works some sort of carnival atmosphere into her new tour as she has done in the video for "Hurt". Can you imagine Barnum and Bailey's with REALLY good music?

Tickets for Christina at Boardwalk Hall are not on sale yet, so keep it to WAYV and we will update you when they are! Convinced yet? Hope so.

TTYL, Heather


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