EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey — With her perfect legs supported by hot pink stilettos, [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist] entered the stage dressed in a vibrant blue dress with a very important message: "I want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world," which she sang in perfect harmony as screams filled the Izod Center in New Jersey Thursday night. Following Kanye West's surprise appearance for her encore on Tuesday night on Long Island, many were wondering if Rihanna had something special in store this time around too.
As it turned out, there was a huge surprise: [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] emerged from underneath the stage for Rihanna's encore, joining her for "Run This Town," and of course, "Umbrella." The whole arena shook as Rihanna laughed, smirked and pranced around the stage with the legendary rapper, whose new collaboration album with Kanye West, Watch the Throne, is set to drop in August.
Prior to the stage nearly collapsing with star power, Rihanna held her own quite remarkably.
With her magenta (or is it fuchsia?) Whitney Houston-style hairdo, the 23-year-old pop star spent two hours proving her diva abilities, singing every one of her hits and introducing significantly more advanced choreography than we've seen in tours past. Making use of pyrotechnics, steam generators, pink army tanks, and set pieces that would even turn the heads of Britney and Madonna, the Loud tour proved to be up to standard with today's greatest pop acts.
During "S&M," Rihanna put on a VMA stage-worthy performance where the gyrating of her hips reached a new peak while a female dancer had her tied up in long white ropes and hands reached for her body from below the stage.
Amidst performing her immense catalog of hits ("Live Your Life," "Shut Up and Drive," "Hard," "What's My Name," "Rude Boy" and "Don't Stop the Music," just to name a few), Rihanna's team crafted a beautiful set of erotically charged videos accompanied by music and sound effects that blasted through every eardrum in the room, hence the tour's title.
"This is the Loud tour, so don't try to act all cute," Rihanna told fans. "New Jersey, make some f---ing noise!"
The sole opening act, up-and-coming rapper J. Cole (Cee Lo Green had to drop out of the tour last month), didn't disappoint, bouncing around the stage with smooth verses to his catchy beats.