[artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist] kicks off her much-discussed Circus tour Tuesday in New Orleans, and MTV News will be there to cover every top-hat-toting moment. But before we land in the Big Easy, we decided to take a look back at the last time Brit hit the road in a massive style ... way back in 2004, on the Onyx Hotel Tour.
Of course, Brit wasn't able to finish the Onyx jaunt; she had arthroscopic surgery on her knee, which forced her to [news id="1488437"]cancel the third leg of the tour[/news]. She did tour again in 2006 (albeit briefly) on the [news id="1558527"]M+M's tour[/news], a scaled-down, six-date run of shows that featured her lip-synching her way through quick sets (just five songs).
Needless to say, it wasn't the arena-packing Spears of old — which is why we're not counting it. What we're focusing on here is the big-venue, big-production Britney we all grew up with, and the one that, thanks to the success of her Circus album, is most definitely back.
And her Circus tour is definitely going to be a big deal. Featuring the [news id="1600903"]Pussycat Dolls as the opening act[/news], a [news id="1605286"]super snazzy stage[/news] with "lots of moving parts," [news id="1605788"]a magic act[/news] featuring a dude who used to be on "Saved By the Bell" and [news id="1605082"]a cameo by none other than Perez Hilton[/news], Brit's pulling out all the stops. Because, well, it's been awhile.
A long while. In fact, here's a look back at the way things were all the way back on June 6, 2004, the last date Brit completed on Onyx, and the last time she toured for real. Needless to say, it was a much simpler time back then.
The last time Britney toured ...
» She hadn't even gotten engaged to Kevin Federline (this was still just six months after her 55-hour Las Vegas wedding to Jason Alexander) and was still more than a year away from giving birth to her first child, Sean Preston.
» [artist id="2408193"]Miley Cyrus[/artist] was 12, [artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift[/artist] was 14, and only one-third of the [artist id="2088128"]Jonas Brothers[/artist] was old enough to drive (Kevin, who was 16). [artist id="509026"]Christina Aguilera[/artist] had yet to get engaged to (now husband) Jordan Bratman, and [artist id="1098"]Madonna[/artist] was still married to Guy Ritchie. [artist id="1245169"]Jessica Simpson[/artist] was still married to [artist id="1237620"]Nick Lachey[/artist], while sister [artist id="1241636"]Ashlee[/artist] was still dating Ryan Cabrera (and was still months away from her infamous "Saturday Night Live" meltdown).
» Facebook was just four months old (and was still called "The Facebook"), MySpace was less than a year old, and people still used Friendster. There were no iPhones, and iPods still featured monochrome screens (you could purchase songs off the newly created iTunes Music Store, though).
» Perez Hilton had yet to launch his infamous Web site (or even its first incarnation, PageSixSixSix.com), Saddam Hussein was awaiting trial by the Iraqi Special Tribunal and George W. Bush was just one year removed from his "Mission Accomplished" speech. John Kerry was the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. Barack Obama had yet to be elected to the U.S. Senate and was still one month away from delivering his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.