BRITNEY SPEARS' ONYX HOTEL tour has kicked off to a bad start, she has been accused of making "desperate attempts to shock".

Spears began her North American tour in San Diego, California, on 2 March (04), and when it hit Los Angeles on Monday (08MAR04), it failed to impress LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS critic FRED SHUSTER.

He writes, "Spears was wheeled on stage in a tall chariot, looking for all the world like a statue of LENIN, if the Russian dictator had been a beefy bottle-blond aerobics instructor.

"The robotic pelvic thrusts began almost immediately. Much has been made of the show's allegedly racy content. But as a second male dancer's head was being pulled into Spears' crutch Monday, the night's sole irony became enticingly clear - the tour is promoted by CLEAR CHANNEL, the radio broadcasting giant that recently dropped Howard Stern from six of its stations and has taken a self-congratulatory stand against what it called public decency.

"More troubling is Spears' continued inability to realise how dull she is when she's not acting as glorified ringmaster. As she sat down at the piano to simulate a ballad 'that's close to my heart' she announced that after all she'd suffered at the hands of the press, 'At the end of the day, it's made me what I am today.' A frat boy in the back row had a rejoinder: 'Whatever.'

"TOXIC might be the best way to describe Spears' Onyx Hotel roadshow."

10/03/2004 21:01