In Depth

Miley Cyrus kicks off 'weird' Bangerz tour to mixed reviews

Pop star starts tour with simulated oral sex on Bill Clinton impersonator

MILEY CYRUS'S worldwide Bangerz tour kicked off in Canada last Friday in typically raunchy style, but was met with mixed reviews from critics.

A "packed but not sold-out" Rogers Arena in Vancouver greeted Cyrus on the first of 38 performances across the globe. The concert began with Cyrus emerging from a giant replica of her own mouth to slide down a huge red tongue onto the stage below.

The singer opened the show clad in a skimpy red-sequined two-piece, and Canada TV reported that "in true Miley fashion, the sexed-up theatrics didn't stop throughout the night".

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 14:American singer Miley Cyrus opens her "Bangerz Tour" at Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena on February 14, 2014 in Vancouver, Canada.(Photo by Phillip Chin/Getty Images)

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2014 Getty Images

The show is "shiny" and "self-aware", but not in the least child-friendly, Francois Marchand, rock critic for the Vancouver Sun says. "It was actually disturbing to see kids and parents clutching posters of Cyrus sporting an essentially crotchless unitard or wearing T-shirts showing her making out with herself in a mirror," Marchand wrote in his faintly damning review.

Costume changes abounded - during her rendition of Love Money Party Cyrus twerked atop a gold-plated SUV wearing a leotard festooned with marijuana leaves.

Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi added a degree of art-house credibility to proceedings, with bespoke animations and costume design. But during the songs FU and Do My Thang, the concert became "weird," according to Marchand with Sesame Street style characters, psychedelic mushrooms and kaleidoscopic imagery.

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 14:American singer Miley Cyrus opens her "Bangerz Tour" at Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena on February 14, 2014 in Vancouver, Canada.(Photo by Phillip Chin/Getty Images)

469510327PC124_Miley_Cyrus_

2014 Getty Images

Ever the controversialist, Cyrus dropped to her knees at one point in front of a male dancer wearing a tuxedo and a mask of former President Bill Clinton for an "on-stage 'Lewinsky'", NineMSN reported.

Contrary to the lukewarm critical response elsewhere, USA Today's Shawn Conner declares the show to be one of "sass and showmanship" noting "the selfie-taking audience ate up every moment."

The set-list is mostly drawn from the singer's most recent album Bangerz, but also features covers of Jolene by Dolly Parton and Outkast's party anthem Hey Ya!.

Will Cyrus be more than just a flash in the pan? From the evidence on show last Friday, Conner believes so: "Cyrus has the charisma and maybe the smarts to be the post-Madonna Madonna. She can use her sexuality and mock it... she might even have that sixth sense of knowing where the culture is going, or where it can be taken. She also seems approachable, on- and off-stage, in a way that Madonna never did," he concludes.

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