LOS ANGELES — Multicolored strobe lights, beams and lasers illuminated the makeshift disco stage at the sold-out Greek Theatre on Tuesday for the opening night of Hilary Duff’s Still Most Wanted Tour. Packed with Duff fans big and small, the venue became a sea of green glow sticks, which were waved frantically by preteen fans minutes before the young pop star was slated to appear, in hopes of speeding up her entrance.
As an electronic blue board on the side of the stage counted down the seconds to zero, a slightly slimmer and more mature-looking Duff burst onto the stage with her opening number, “Wake Up,” the first single and one of three new tracks off her forthcoming hits LP, Most Wanted, in stores August 16 (see “Cheaper By The Duo? Hilary Duff Teams Up With Madden Brothers For New LP” ). She wore a short, black lace spaghetti-strap boho-chic dress; tan knee-high boots (which she ditched halfway through her hour-long set); and chunky jewelry, including a green-and-gold necklace and wooden bangle bracelets. (It was Duff’s one and only outfit the entire evening, which was due to a wardrobe snafu — she said to MTV News just minutes before taking the stage that her other outfits had yet to arrive.)
Duff breezed through old favorites like “Come Clean” and “Hide Away” from her two multiplatinum albums, 2003’s Metamorphosis and her self-titled 2004 sophomore studio disc, respectively, before segueing into some fresh material.
“This song is brand new and you guys are going to be the first to hear it,” Duff said, premiering a second new track, “Beat of My Heart.” For the third and final new tune, “Break My Heart,” a black screen flashed the words “hate,” “love,” “pain,” “pleasure,” “hope” and “trust.”
“Now you’re through with me, I don’t know what to do with me,” Duff crooned, as she took a seat onstage near her drummer. “Why don’t you break my heart and watch me fall apart … look what you did to me, you got the best of me.”
Duff quickly exited, and re-emerged minutes later through the center of the stage, barefoot and energized, bounding about as she tackled the upbeat tune “Rock This World” in front of a screen with a pixilated rotating globe.
“Hey, Los Angeles, stand up! I don’t care how old you are — get up!” Duff cried out. As she shifted into “Fly,” the stage was soon engulfed in blue and green laser lights that darted into the screaming crowd. Finally, the singer brought the young concertgoers to their feet as she introduced “So Yesterday,” one of the obvious crowd favorites of the evening.
“You guys have to sing along to this! No excuses!” she said. “I know you know this!” The throng of fans did not disappoint, shouting the lyrics in unison along with their perky hero.
“Thank you guys so much for coming to my show,” Duff told the crowd as the evening started to wind down. “Do you guys want to hear more? Actually, I don’t think you guys have been loud enough for me to do more, and you might have to convince my band, ’cause I can’t play the instruments by myself.” As she was met by an exuberant reply, the singer finally caved to the antsy mob, and closed out her show with a more rocking, albeit lesser-known tune, “Girl Can Rock” from 2004’s “A Cinderella Story.”
Duff proceeded to exit the stage with her full band in tow, leaving fans waiting, demanding, and outright expecting an encore from their idol, but it never came.
Sorry, kids, not this evening, because as any savvy performer knows, you always have to leave people wanting more.
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports .