It's a bit surprising that last night marked Rihanna's first performance at Jay Z and Budweiser's Made in America festival, as the singer is part of Jay's Roc Nation family. Nevertheless, she looked incredibly joyous while dominating the headlining set for day one in Philadelphia.
For those fans who were expecting a change from her Anti World Tour, this performance was not for you. Her stop at MIA 2016 was part of her trek, so everything remained the same—from the brooding "Stay" opener behind the audience, the predicted setlist and the bubbles trickling down the stage during the "Kiss it Better" finale.
Rihanna looked completely in her element while flexing her pop star muscles as she ripped through various chart smashes: "Umbrella," "Live Your Life," "Bitch Better Have My Money," "Rude Boy," "Diamonds" and a handful more. In between her bad gal mean-mugging and seductive twerking, she would flash a warm-hearted smile that shone just as bright as the phone lights from the audience. In those few moments, Rih was the relatable chick simply having fun, not the pop icon who just snagged a Video Vanguard Award at this year's MTV VMAs.
While many were waiting for Rihanna's current beau Drake to pop up during "Work" like he did during the earlier part of the tour, his absence wasn't missed. After all, Rih can hold down the stage without planned "romantic" gimmicks. The spotlight will always remain on her, and she owns it in the most badass way.