The spectacle that is pop culture sensation Miley Cyrus touched down for nearly two hours Saturday night at Staples Center and despite twerking, lots of tongue and kissing Katy Perry, the world did not end.
The 21-year-old brought her colorful circus-like show to L.A. with no major issues visible, despite previous reports of protests from parents who have been trying to get her tour canceled.
During the singer's latest single “Adore You,” Cyrus casually walked off the stage and kissed pop star Katy Perry on the mouth. After the kiss, Cyrus said onstage,“I just kissed a girl and I really liked it a lot” in reference to Perry's hit “I Kissed a Girl.”
According to MusicFix, parents responded to the shows in Canada by attempting to sell their tickets on eBay and StubHub with others refusing to attend, demanding refunds or wanting the concerts canceled. Her shows have included simulated sex acts on someone with a Bill Clinton mask and stuffing a thong in her mouth.
But Pollstar, the concert industry publication, reported on Friday these protests were phony.
In an emailed statement Saturday night, Live Nation said there was “no truth whatsoever” to rumors or stories of venues pulling out of Cyrus' Bangerz tour, named after her most recent album.
“Miley has created a tour that's big, spectacular, entertaining and everything you would expect from Miley Cyrus,” according to the statement by Live Nation, the live-events company based in Beverly Hills focused on concert promotions for mega shows like Cyrus'. “Reviews have been amazing and most important, fans are loving the show and having a great time.”
At Staples Center on Saturday, protester signs appeared to be religious based. Crowd members, mostly young women with many wearing Cyrus' shirts with some couples and a few parents, just walked right past on their way in the venue.
What concertgoers saw was Cyrus taking the stage sliding down a massive tongue, performing with oversized stuffed animals in a variety of colors and the Disney star-turned-raunchy popstar grabbing her crotch while showing off her backside with several revealing outfits.
One of the biggest surprises was The Flaming Lips playing “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” with Cyrus while she was on the back floor of the Staples Center. The young singer incorrectly introduced the song as “Yoshimi” but added “I'm a true fan of these amazing guys” while Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne wore all red and joked he was drunk.
The crazy combo performed the song twice with half the crowd yelling and the other half looking like they weren't completely sure who The Flaming Lips were.
The audience roared the loudest during Cyrus' three-song encore that consisted of her biggest hits “We Can't Stop,” “Wrecking Ball” and “Party In The U.S.A.” But fans danced to many of her songs from her latest album “Bangerz,” which the energetic pop star performed between changing from one revealing outfit to the next.
Outside of the album songs, Cyrus also effortlessly sang a countrified version of OutKast's “Hey Ya,” a cover of Dolly Parton's “Jolene” and the appropriately titled “Can't Be Tamed” off the 2010 album with the same title.
Before Cyrus, risque pop stars Sky Ferreira and Icona Pop kept the Staples Center audience engaged.
Ferreira battled through what looked like fatigue from getting stitches in a fall to make it through her short 30-minute set while Icona Pop used high energy instrumentals and sing along chorus' on hits like “I Love It” to get the crowd moving.
After the concert, audience members said they were impressed with Cyrus' colorful set that included balloons, lasers and, of course, twerking.
“It was just amazing,” said 18-year-old Olivia Greco of Rancho Palos Verdes. “My mind is blown.”
Her friend, Mikaela Chacon, 17, also of Rancho Palos Verdes said she was “speechless.”
Before the show, Braxton Adams, 20, of Layton, Utah and Kolleen Dresser, 18, of Las Vegas said they looked up to Cyrus as an inspirational figure.
“I find her to be a great role model, but for some it might not fit,” Adams said.
Dresser said she admired Cyrus for getting out of her Disney created “Hannah Montana” image and evolving.
“Her fan base grew up with her,” Dresser said, “they're not watching that show now.”
Follow Wes Woods on Twitter: @JournoWes