LAS VEGAS — Blue strobe lights are flashing and bikini-topped go-go dancers are thrusting as snippets of the Outfield’s “Your Love” mix with Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” and Bob Marley’s “Jammin’.” It’s another hot night at Moon, a nightclub housed within the Palms Resort Casino — that is, until the DJs interrupt the jam to make an announcement.
“Hold on, hold on, hold on,” DJ P tells the crowd as DJ Greg Lopez steps back from scratching at the turntables. “We’ve got Britney’s new single, and I want you to make some noise!” And Lopez, holding his headphones to his ear with his shoulder, presses play. The choppy beat of “Gimme More” starts — but the singer’s introduction of “It’s Britney, b—h!” is either absent or inaudible — so DJ P exhorts the crowd instead: “Britney Spears!”
While the whole city is primed for Britney’s appearance at the VMAs , the clubgoers seems indifferent at first, as if they don’t quite know what to make of it. The song is already familiar to some — who’ve heard it on the radio and the Internet already — but some of the crowd tell us they don’t know who the singer was at first, even with the announcements (which, granted, in a nightclub can be hard to hear). “I thought it was Hilary Duff at first, and then I realized it was Britney,” said Alana Schultz from Victoria, British Columbia.
So it takes a little more coaxing from the DJ (“Put your hands up!”) and the go-go dancers for the song to catch on. From the DJ booth, the reaction looks mixed. And judging from what those on the dancefloor had to say about the song afterward, people either love the song or they don’t — whether they’re Britney fans or not. There’s no in-between.
“I was kind of worried, but I think this song is going to do it for her, actually,” said Heather McDonald from Akron, Ohio.
“I was so excited Britney was coming out with a new song,” said Jennifer Miller from Madison, Wisconsin. “But honestly, the song was awful. She just repeats three words for the entire song.”
“I was just waiting for it to end,” said Courtney Thorpe, also from Madison, Wisconsin. “It’s just the same thing over and over. There’s no chance of it growing on me.”
“It’s going to be a #1 club hit and everyone knows it,” Schultz said. “As much as people want to hate, she’s fricking Britney Spears, and that’s it.”
Several clubgoers told us they drove to Vegas cross-country just for the chance to see Spears perform on the VMAs — setting out even before her performance was confirmed, they were so eager for a chance to see her.
“I’m hoping it’s good, for her sake,” said Michelle Martin, who drove from Canada. “And for me — I want more. Gimme more!”
Wait — don’t cash out on the VMAs just yet! From Britney’s sultry comeback performance to the big winners, you saw it all — well, almost everything! Get yourself even richer with our wall-to-wall show coverage, party reports, videos and loads more at www.VMA.MTV.com. For reports, photos, video and much, much more from previous VMAs, dive into the VMA archives.