November 16, 2012


Yes, Rihanna Waits at Baggage Just Like Everyone Else

Kevin Mazur
Kevin Mazur

Fuse has been traveling with Rihanna as part of her 777 Tour, which finds the singer performing seven shows in seven countries in seven days. On Day 2, we travel to Toronto and almost lose our minds.  

To those pondering the unanswerable question of how long it takes before you lose all sense of time, space and normal life functioning, the answer, if you're on Rihanna's 777 Tour, is approximately 36 hours.

On Day 2 of the tour, rational life order—three meals a day, sleep at night—is gone, to be hopefully recovered in time for Thanksgiving. Exhibit A: It's 4:35 in the morning somewhere between Toronto and Stockholm and as I'm typing this, the stewardess is passing out dinner. "What's the date?" is like asking that blackboard equation in Good Will Hunting and the word "routine" is looked upon like some distant race that traveled to the future and saw a car for the first time. We are all trapped in Rihanna's mind-bending, time-bending parallel universe and loving it. Few of us are able to step out of our mechanized comfort zones in our daily lives, so at this point, the consensus is to just enjoy the ride as long as it lasts.

A lengthy delay on the flight from Mexico City to Toronto led to speculation among journalists on if Rihanna was actually on the flight. (No "buckling up and getting drunk" tonight.) Would she only take day flights, doling out shots of champagne we can't afford, and meeting us at our destination via a separate plane for the night flights? Would someone of her fame, on whose welfare many livelihoods are dependent upon, endure a three-hour wait or just hop in a different plane? Mystery solved Thursday morning, when Rihanna appeared at the baggage carousel with the rest of us, still looking great in that "How is Brandon Walsh's hair so good when he just woke up" sort of way.

Later that evening, we make it to Danforth Music Hall, a 1,500-person converted movie theatre from the 1920s. If Mexico City's crowd leaned more artsy and hipster, Toronto was headed for the club. You could see more midriffs, stilettos and short skirts in five minutes than in the whole night of Mexico. But like the previous night, Rihanna and her band kept it loose, treating tonight's show as equal parts victory lap and warm-up for next year's Diamonds tour.

While the setlist didn't vary too much from Mexico, that it differed at all is a testament to the singer's catalog of pop ubiquity. Ri could've delivered the exact same set as before and no one would've faulted her, but the additions of "Don't Stop the Music" and "Love the Way You Lie" to tonight's setlist showcased the depth of her catalog. Girl's got hits is what I'm saying.

Unlike Mexico, though, RiRi came bearing gifts, in this case a cell phone embossed with the letter "R" and the word "Toronto." "This gift gives you total bragging rights," said the singer. "This is the next level sh-t. Nobody has this except me." After casual searching, she deigned her gift to a little girl who "made it into the over-18 venue."

After the show, we're bused to the airport to make our flight to Stockholm. Rihanna is nowhere to be seen, but after watching the energy required to do a 70-minute set after Wednesday night's flight, at least a few members of the group are galvanized by her energy. It's only been a few days, so we all don't look like some cheap George Romero film yet. But that time may not be far off. Still, we soldier on to Stockholm for Day 3. Or Day 30. Or Day Fluburgen. Things are a bit hazy.

Total Distance Traveled: 6,023 Miles
Next Stop: Stockholm