On one hand, the January teleconference with Miley Cyrus to promote her 38-city “Bangerz” Tour was a disappointment.
The bizarre format required journalists to electronically submit questions, with the moderator screening them to make sure they were tour-related, then reading off those she approved of. (Typically in these situations, reporters get their lines patched in, allowing them to directly address the interviewee.)
So, softball after softball was tossed to Cyrus, 21, who performs Monday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Despite the tightly controlled environment, she managed to come across as cool, casual, candid, and even charming – which may surprise those who’ve wrinkled their noses at her twerking, or her trademark wink/tongue-wave.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
She played coy, saying things like: “I don’t want to give any of my surprises away because my tour has been kept such a secret, and nothing in my life is ever a secret.”
And she playfully teased as she tried not to spill too much about the tour’s costume design: “I feel like clothes, for me – or lack thereof – say a lot.”
Yet Cyrus dished plenty about her new concert, which has been criticized by some who say she’s trying too hard to shock, lauded by others who say her singing chops and showmanship are undeniable.
Here are the seven things to expect from Monday night’s show, according to Miley.
1 “People like to make me seem like I’m one thing, and that all I know how to do is shock people, that that’s my whole purpose in the industry. ... If you are different, it’s about being proud of that, and owning that, and not going out there to be what other people consider sexy or what other people consider right or wrong. ... I don’t have a hard time making fun of myself, so the whole show is making fun of the way people perceive me ... and making a caricature of myself.”
2 “Really the whole set is from my new album ‘Bangerz,’ and there’s just a few songs that are from my last album (‘Can’t Be Tamed’) ... and a lot of covers.”
3 “My set’s about 90 minutes, but my acoustic set can go on for as long as I want, so it really depends on the city and how good the audience is. If I can tell they’re into it ... I have it where I can be on the acoustic stage as long as I want.”
4 “When you go to a concert, if confetti comes down from the sky, all the kids want to keep the confetti. ... The stuff that I’m gonna have falling out of the sky, most people would want to sell that at their merch stand, but I want to just give that stuff to my fans, because I know they’re spending money to come see my show.”
5 “We’ve had (‘Ren & Stimpy’ creator) John K. do a lot of the cartoons for the tour and all the illustrations, so there’s gonna be a lot of cool, imaginative animals that he’s made up on his own.”
6 “I’m not super-choreographed. I don’t have someone telling me, ‘Do this, do that.’ ... I don’t really work like most artists. ... I don’t really rehearse too much because I think that takes kind of all the fun out of it. ... We built the show around me and my ADD. Diane Martel – who’s video-directing it – she didn’t want me too bored by the 10th show, to be out there and not wanting to do the same show every night. ... So every show is gonna be different.”
7 “I’m really focused on people being excited about me as a singer more than what I did to shock people. I want people to walk away being like, ‘OK, she did some things that were crazy, but at the end of the day it was really about her voice.’ ”