Britney Spears Captivates L.A. With Fresh And Classic Hits

Nicki Minaj joined the bedazzled pop star onstage at the Staples Center for 'Till the World Ends.'

LOS ANGELESBritney Spears is back. Not that she’d entirely left, mind you.

But the Spears that captivated the audience at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on Monday night was the old, fun-loving, free-wheeling Spears — with a sexy, showgirl twist. There wasn’t much pretense, though those glamazon outfits blinded in the best way possible. Instead, there was just good dance music.

Spears opened her Femme Fatale Tour last week in Sacramento, and for the most part she stuck to script. There was flash and substance, and Spears appeared as the 29-year-old version of her former self, looking amazing in bedazzled leotards, barely-there cutoffs and midriff-baring outfits.

Show openers Jessie and the Toy Boys, Nervo, and Nicki Minaj set the stage for what was to be a fast-paced night. In her own skintight outfits, Minaj did exactly what an opening act should do: whet the appetite for the main course.

Photos: Britney brings it in Los Angeles.

For Spears’ part, she went through about nine songs from her most recent album, Femme Fatale, opening her set with her lusty dance track “Hold It Against Me.”

She spent nearly two hours grinding her way through a series of her biggest hits including “3,” “Piece of Me,” “If U Seek Amy” and a remix of “Boys.” A highlight of the night — though, let’s face it, nearly every twist and turn she made was met with ear-piercing shrills from the Spears Faithful — was when she straddled a larger-than-life-size guitar to perform a cover of Madonna’s “Burning Up.” And she nearly brought the house down when she performed “Slave 4 U” with the original choreography (minus the snake).

One tweak, perhaps, from last week’s shows, is that instead of having Minaj appear via video for “Till the World Ends,” the rapper joined the pop singer onstage.

There were times throughout the night when it was obvious that Spears was lip-synching, but no one in the audience seemed to mind one bit. They were there to be served a shot of Spears straight-up. And they got what they came for.

Have you seen Britney on tour? Share your own show reviews in the comments!