The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

An all-grown up Miley Cyrus a little naughty, a little nice in return to Nashville

  • Print

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Miley's back, y'all.

Miley Cyrus made her delayed-due-to-illness return to the town where she grew up Thursday night, bringing a flying hot dog, a dwarf dressed as the Liberty Bell, a dozen recognizable hits, a taunt to the girls who beat her up in school and a lot of inappropriate touching. Drawing a crowd of mostly young women — and a hefty number of moms — the show was a little bit pop concert, a little bit late-night pay cable and a little bit great.

In the audience: Two 20-something women with a gift for arts and crafts arrived at Cyrus' homecoming concert with identical bedazzled shirts that read, "R.I.P. Hannah Montana." Look no further than that for the official theme to Cyrus' Bangerz Tour, a pastiche of weird culture that plays a lot like a YouTube channel devoted to absurdist performance art.

The surprising thing, after the former teen television star raised such a lather last year with a highly memorable MTV Video Music Awards appearance, is how tame the show actually is.

It's true that Nashville is a pretty quiet town. And sure, Cyrus does simulate sex acts on stage during a few songs — Abe Lincoln has never seemed less presidential — and mentions drug use. But the woman whose twerking and foam finger started a national discussion balanced her naughty images and saucier choreography with messages espousing personal freedom and a few moments of pop perfection.

For the most part, the night — her fifth date since restarting a U.S. tour that was postponed for more than three months after an allergic reaction to antibiotics — was PG-13, filled with images that are unavoidable on the Internet where much of Cyrus' audience spends its time. The only thing pushing the show into truly R-rated territory was Cyrus' spirited use of the F-word.

The debate over Cyrus' transformation from wholesome teen to a young woman exploring her sexuality hovered around the sold-out show as mothers shepherded thousands of teenage girls into Bridgestone Arena, where the 21-year-old singer once attended shows as a teen herself. For some she was a guilty pleasure, and the presence of rolling papers, R-rated possibilities, booty shorts and inflatable bananas at the merch table only added to the feeling of things being taboo.

Inside the arena, the crowd was all in as Cyrus gave something of a history lesson in over-the-top moments in pop music. For all the guff Cyrus has gotten, she's not covering unfamiliar territory. Touching your special parts (Michael Jackson), well-endowed dancers expert in the butterfly (2 Live Crew), uncovered rear ends (David Lee Roth) are milestones passed decades ago.

And to be clear, there were a lot of these things — a whole lot — during Cyrus' 2 1/2-hour, 20-plus song set, along with flying kittens, inflatable dogs three stories tall, plushy dancers, giant tongues and even a simulated orgy. But there were also a lot of impressive moments where Cyrus showed her growing prowess as an entertainer. She pushed her voice to the edge at times while holding the attention of 16,000 people with just a microphone, and had moms and daughters singing every word with the same gusto on major hits like "Wrecking Ball" and "Party in the USA."

Those were the moments that provided the real spectacle.



Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Gary Lawless & Ed Tait try not to bleeping cry over the woesome Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Has the attack on Parliament hill shaken your faith in Canada's ability to protect its citizens from terrorist threats?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google