Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Britney Spears Lip-Syncing Two-Year Residency Concerts at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood

Here's the story at the New York Daily News, "Britney Spears caught lip-syncing during 'Britney: Piece of Me' residency shows in Las Vegas, despite management denials."

And her problems don't stop there.

At LAT, "Review: Britney Spears offers just a 'Piece of Me' in Las Vegas":

Scheduled to run through 2015, with Spears playing approximately 50 shows a year at the 4,600-seat Axis, “Piece of Me” represents a potential pivot point for the singer and the state of entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip.

For Spears, 32, the steady gig promises a path out of the turmoil and disappointment that have surrounded her since 2007, when she attacked a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella after shaving her head at a Tarzana salon.

Though Spears’ personal life appears to have stabilized, her career is still hurting: This month her album “Britney Jean” opened with the lowest sales of the singer’s 15-year career; it sits at No. 27 on the Billboard 200, well behind records by Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, both of whom showed up Friday night as a sign of respect to a trailblazer.

Filling the Axis, the thinking seems to go, might restore some of Spears’ luster without her having to engage in direct competition with her younger successors.

Las Vegas, meanwhile, stands the chance to further dismantle its reputation as a home for has-beens. Successful casino shows by the likes of Celine Dion and Elton John have advanced that effort, but with its jackhammering dance beats and recent-vintage radio hits, “Piece of Me” bridges the gap between those old-school extravaganzas and the superstar DJ sets that have increasingly come to define the city’s night life.

In terms of show-business strategy, it seems to make sense. Yet as a concert experience Spears’ opening-night performance came up awfully short....

Whatever the scale of the number though, the singer’s presence felt so diminished -- her dancing a tentative shadow of what it used to be, her vocals apparently lip-synced for the majority of the show -- as if to make the production’s title seem a taunt.

That was never more true than in the song “Piece of Me,” which on 2007’s “Blackout” -- perhaps Spears’ best album, released right in the thick of her public meltdown -- arrived like a searing indictment of the tabloid surveillance state. On record the track still stings, yet here it flat-lined, with none of the intensity, energy or strut that made Spears such a focal point of mainstream pop.

Well, maybe she's right for Vegas after all. A lot of performers have wound down their careers on the Strip.