Rating: 4 out of 5
Disney sensation Miley Cyrus sheds another layer of her tween dynamic as she edges closer to the adult she'll be before we know it. In this full out concert, directed by Bruce Hendricks, her sprightly energy, dancing and original music just takes over the place as she commands full engagement with her adoring fans. If you're going to be a rock star you've got to act like one and Cyrus does it like she's born to. Her great time is your great time -- if you're into it. And, to get things off on the right footing, she opens with her powerhouse, "Rock Star."
With poise and personality, she shows a veteran's savvy: addressing her performance to all corners of the auditorium, neatly acknowledging things being proffered by her adorers on lively journeys around the stage, displaying the endurance of someone whose done this kind of workout before, while charming the house and delivering the goods.
It's mostly upbeat, as though she wants to prove her stamina, but it's no contest, and we see that there'll be no flagging of tempo and excitement on this night, designed like a pro for the tastes of her fans. She and the band are clearly elite athletes; her drummer, perhaps, second only to the star.
That foreshadowing of maturity mentioned above is brought to an edge with suggestive lyrics and themes that depart a bit from her earlier work -- one being a hot-button appeal to her fan base: "Girl's Night Out." Spirited variation comes with her version of a flamenco piece, "Let's Dance," with yellow costume and black accents that work thematically and brilliantly. Some introspection is injected into the mix with her tribute to her late granddad, "I Miss You," which has an evocatively repeated emphasis on "miss" that haunts your mind. In a rare moment when she actually sits down like a troubadour to play it, she explains that it might apply to a lot of different situations but, to her, it's a paean to one beloved figure in her life.
Other tracks include "Life's What You Make It," "Just Like You," "Nobody's Perfect," and "We Got the Party" and, after a costume change that the Jonas Brothers cover very ably, she goes on with "Going Away" and, from her series, "The Best of Both Worlds." This DVD is a great favor to all those who missed this sell-out event and has the added virtue of being able to play it until you're tired of it -- something some tween fans indicate might never happen.
The 3-D aspect adds an interesting wrinkle, attempting to "put you there" with a greater sense of presence (four sets of filter glasses are included in the package). The effect doesn't work as well for every shot or angle, but when a traveling camera crosses the frame or swinging arms suddenly fill the foreground or a guitarist flicks a pick at the lens or the drummer flips a drum stick at you, see if you're not taken aback. The DVD package comes on two discs, 3-D and 2-D, so you can pick your poison for no extra charge.
Negative commentary about the concert (which is an intercut of at least two live performances) being overproduced isn't off base, but consider this: This confident 15-year old rocker is on her way to becoming a billionaire. Why blame her or her dad or Disney for milking the phenomenon? She's earning it song by song and smile by smile. Clips cut into the film show her working on a song with daddy Billy Ray Cyrus and going through a quick change backstage under the eye of mom. Miley's personal thoughts are briefly expressed and reveal a girl enjoying her success, precociously calculating, and bent on being thoughtful about the statements she's making.
She got the limo out front.
Facts and Figures
Run time: 30 mins
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Cast & Crew
Director: Bruce Hendricks