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The Miley Cyrus show goes on in Raleigh

By David Menconi
dmenconi@newsobserver

RALEIGH Whatever happened behind the scenes Monday night in Charlotte to cancel Miley Cyrus’ show, it didn’t stop the show Tuesday night in Raleigh.

After a fair amount of speculation and buildup, it seemed like just another show at the PNC Arena, which drew a good-sized crowd to the Raleigh stop on Cyrus’ “Bangerz Ball” tour.

The crowd was predominantly younger and female (so much so that some of the men’s rooms were converted to women’s bathrooms in the arena) and dressed to kill. Before the show, people passed the time taking selfies next to an oversized poster of Cyrus, imitating her signature tongue-out pose.

At least two people who had tried to go to Cyrus’ Charlotte show came to Raleigh after Monday’s cancellation. Rock Hill residents Tabatha Cline, 18, and Kaleigh Smith, 20, immediately bought tickets and made the trip over because they were, they said, “terrified to miss her.”

“We’re huge fans, and I’m obsessed with her,” said Cline. “Miley’s not afraid to be herself, and I think she’s just a huge inspiration.”

Yes, Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter, who entered show business as the fictional teen “Hannah Montana,” has become famous for entirely different reasons at age 21. Onstage at PNC, there was no sign of the flu that show promoter Live Nation gave as the cause for Monday’s cancellation.

A few songs in, she did pause to apologize for the Charlotte cancellation. She said she’s never canceled a show before, and if one of her concerts doesn’t happen, it’s due to her “having a mental breakdown or puking my guts out or both.”

That didn’t stop her from going around the stage right after “FU” (a song that both Rock Hill fans Cline and Smith cited as their favorite of hers) spitting water into the crowd, which people seemed genuinely excited to receive.

Cyrus also showed a flair for the dramatic with her first onstage appearance, entering on a slide done up as her own oversized tongue, which is fast becoming the most famous tongue this side of Mick Jagger’s.

She invoked a couple of other musical elders with covers, including Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”

Musically, it was hard to get a fix on her voice, because she was swallowed in bombast throughout the evening (and as often as not, the band performed out of sight under the stage).

But it was as enthusiastic a crowd response as I’ve seen in years – wall-to-wall shrieks from start to finish.

Menconi: 919-829-4647
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