Rihanna performing in Stockholm.
Photo: Mary H.K. Choi
The following is a conversation between me and Maud during a 90-minute delay on a Stockholm tarmac waiting for Rihanna who we know ARRIVED at the nightclub at 5AM last night and proceeded to pour and do a grip of shots. We also can’t get our wheels up because we’re waiting for a bunch of reporters who can’t sit the F down because they were raised by wolves. Wolves that were CLEARLY tortured and abused at the hands of THEIR forebears because holy crap, this is ridiculous.
Mary H.K. Choi: Oh my god, I’m so tired and this flight out of Stockholm is one majillion hours late. I wish they hadn’t served all the mimosas at 9 in the morning.
Maud Deitch: My coffee high wore off about 20 minutes ago and then I started Googling whether or not there are bed bugs in our hotel in Paris. People need to sit down.
MHKC: I legit can’t think about bed bugs right now. I haven’t been checking my mattress seams at all. I’m just so relieved every time we see a bed. I have to say though, I love that they’ve been putting us in the same seats in Home Plane because any change in the one routine I’m hanging onto would end me. Stockolm was a trip, thought. So fun. Best show yet?
MD: Definitely best show yet. Ri seemed way into it and the small variations in the set list made a huge difference. That guy doing the modified “Rollin’ With The Homies” dance from the balcony really solidified the whole thing. Thanks for pointing him out. Also we need to talk about “Stay” because it made me feel a lot of feelings (which is a theme for me this trip I think).
A Rihanna fan’s Air Yeezy 2s.
Photo: Mary H.K. Choi
MHKC:YES! “Stay” was so good. And we were close enough to see Ri get a little misty-eyed over it. Adidas guy was The Best. The crowd in general was awesome. That kid in the Yeezys who camped out for a week to get ‘em. AND, UM, how nuts is it that the really cute girls we took pictures of ended up being total Julianne (here from Spin, and she also writes our RuPaul Recaps) Twitter fans. The Internet is amazing. So, we need to discuss the venue.
Julianne Shepherd fans in Stockholm.
Photo: Mary H.K. Choi
MD: Pause, All of the photographers are crowding around the bathrooms/breakfast tray in the back of the plane so we have to check and see if it’s Rihanna…Nope just Nuno (the guitar player).
MHKC: LOL. False alarm.
Berns, in Stockholm.
Photo: Mary H.K. Choi
MD: Anyway, the venue, Berns, was kind of the perfect embodiment of everything that is weird and awesome about Scandanavia and Europe in general: old, opulent, beautiful architecture, chandeliers and history, appearing without any intentional humor alongside laser lights and house music.
MHKC: Yeah, seriously. It was just lousy with chandeliers. And frescoes. It was all so EXTRA. I especially liked how the guys were dressed in the crispiest, whitest, WHITE shirts. It served a strong murderer vibe but in that way that you know you’re someplace classy. OK, we have to talk about what Rihanna was wearing….
MD: Oh, I know.
MHKC: HANDS DOWN my favorite outfit of the tour. And you know how obsessed I was with her gauchos/button-down sateen ensemble from Toronto.
MD: I feel like the two previous outfits set up a really good stylistic bait-and-switch that was totally paid out by last night’s outfit.
MHKC: Ahahahah. Go on…
MD: I was expecting this to be the tour of the bralette, pants of a challenging-length and over layer with an impressive drape, which I was into, but then last night just fully blew up all of my expectations. Rihanna took a white crew neck tee and turned it into one of the sexiest garments I’ve ever seen, and not just because she was braless. Also real sexy not clubwear sexy.
MHKC: YESSSS! The bra-lessness totally worked. Further proof that Rihanna may be one of the most attractive and magical human beings alive. It is insane how cute she is. And cute, not in a pejorative, patronizing way but, like, actually so impish and becoming and sexy and attractive. It makes no sense. The white tee only became more enticing and wonderful and—yeah, STILL NOT SKANKY—as the pool of neathage sweat threatened to make it see-through but didn’t. Can we discuss hashtag Chanel? The accessories game was ON POINT.
MD: I feel like maybe North America isn’t ready for the serious stuff yet. Last night was the first time we really got to see her in the context of GLOBAL fame, and the fact that she was literally draped in Chanel was an embodiment of the fact that, yeah, you cannot touch the level of bonkers famousness but she also that she is a real person who has somehow achieved this, and holding up her denim pum pum shorts with double C’s is the result.
MHKC: Those high-waisted shorts that she was sewn in. DYING. They must’ve body-mapped her or something because that Indigo wash had, like, a zero spandex quotient and fit like a fantasy.
MD: Seriously though, it had to be some vintage Guess or Calvin Klein, just speculating. It did that really good butt lift thing that denim scientists perfected in the early 90’s. Sorry if I’m getting Ruffles All-Dressed flavor chip residue on the keyboard. Actually, you know what, not sorry. No shame.
MHKC: Ha ha at us eating both chips from different continents at whatever o’clock. The comestibles thing has been sort of punishing? We never have ANY idea when we’ll get our food pellets. With the booze and the meals, it’s been super feast or famine. Right now everyone is double fisting sparkling rosé (out of season, how gauche) and eating craisins and other garbage because who knows?
MD: I do enjoy our little rituals though. Like our Home Plane seats and our nightly dirty martinis. There’s a lot of strategy involved in maintaining sanity on this tour. Everyone starting to drink too early seems like poor strategy to me. Felipe (From The Fader) just discovered Law & Order: SVU on the Plane TV though, which is great strategy, as were breakfast chips.
MHKC: The meal times are all over the place. I still can’t believe you ate secret mole without me at 5 AM from Mexico to Canada. That was the most surreal thing to wake up for a second to see your little face lit up by your tiny TV forking up little, delicious-smelling parcels of darkness into your mouth. I had NO IDEA how to get it or what was going on.
MD: That secret mole remains a highlight—gastronomic and otherwise—of this experience. I woke up to the smell of warm deliciousness and had a good couple of minutes of debating whether it was polite/ok to eat a full meal at who knows-o’clock while two people sleep less than 6 inches from me on either side. When you woke up you looked at me like I was totally crazypants but by that point I was so into how amazing that mole was that I didn’t care.
MHKC: Thank god for the excellent candy in Sweden. Except for that weirdo salty licorice skull and that one racecar gummy that tasted like strawberry-banana-urinal cake. So weird. DUDE. I can’t believe we’re returning to an America where Hostess is going out of business. Things are cracked.
MD: It makes me sad because I can’t remember the last time I had one of those cupcakes with the white squiggly on top. Those are so good. I feel like maintaining a certain obliviousness to the world outside of the plane and also our real lives is another essential strategic move here though. How are we ever going to reintegrate?
MHKC: I know. *as we’re handed hot towels* Living a week Rihanna style is sort of brain ruining. I don’t know how I’ll manage expectations from here out. I’m excited about Paris.
MD: I’m so excited about Paris I feel like I might start hysterically crying when we get there. This is a serious dreams-realized moment for me: to not only be going to Paris, or going to Paris with Rihanna, but also to be going to Paris as a professional writer blah blah blah feelings. I need to find sneaker wedges. Is someone on this plane painting their nails right now?
MHKC: This #777Tour is so the bestworstbest.