August 12, 2000 – better known as the magical evening that Britney Jean Spears turned me, a little girl just shy of her 6th birthday, into a dedicated fan girl and loyal member of the Britney Army. No joke - Britney Spears was my EVERYTHING growing up; we’re talking a plethora of memorabilia – magazines, dolls, an unnecessary (unhealthy) collection of her 7-11 Pepsi promo posters, replica outfits from her music videos (i.e. the waitress outfit from You Drive Me Crazy)... I even forced my family to listen to "Sometimes" on loop during road trips. I can proudly proclaim that Britney Spears was my first #goals, and “Justiney” was my first #relationshipgoals (R.I.P. JUSTINEY). Needless to say, I was a girl obsessed, and unapologetically so.
Ever since Spears announced her residency, I dreamt of going to one of her shows; but due to my insane college course load and inability to legally consume alcohol at the time, I was unable to put the plan into motion.
The anticipation of seeing Britney live in Las Vegas has been building for years; ever since Spears announced her residency, I dreamt of going to one of her shows; but due to my insane college course load and inability to legally consume alcohol at the time, I was unable to put the plan into motion. Fast-forward to February 13, 2016 – a.k.a. the night I (finally!) went to watch her iconic Piece of Me show live at the Axis Theatre at Planet Hollywood. The time had finally arrived for me to see my Queen and she did not disappoint. From making countless friendships with equally crazed Britney fanatics (my Instagram follower count reaped the benefits of that one), to ugly crying whilst she performed my favorites, like “…Oops! I did it again” and “Toxic” – having finally seen Britney in the flesh after a decade of anticipation, my life has been made.
That being said, here are my top 5 highlights of that blessed evening:
1. The Proximity of my Tickets (I WAS SO CLOSE)
My videos and photos probably won't do my proximity to the stage justice; but there are not enough words to articulate just how close I was to Queen Britney. If you’re anything like me, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, then do not hesitate to snag some general admission tickets! Of course, that means that you’ll need to invest a reasonable amount of time waiting in line outside the theatre - but it’s 100% worth it. The unobstructed view and countless times she passes by you as she makes her way down the catwalk will completely validate your decision. The closer you are, the better your experience (and Snapchats) will be— from where I was, I basically saw her hair extensions tussle in HD the whole night (...and it was amazing).
2. Meeting the Babes of the Britney Army
The Piece of Me experience would not have been nearly been as enjoyable if it weren’t for the people I met. Britney fans are by far some of the most genuine, friendly people I've ever encountered, so the evening was made exponentially better having gotten the privilege to be surrounded by a bunch of them! Together, we sang (screamed) along to innumerable songs, befriended a security guard (remember me, Mike?), collectively gasped every time Britney strutted down the catwalk past us, and danced away the entire duration of the show. Situated in the general admission pit, while the rest of the theatre was bumping, our area was by far the most passionate and enthusiastic of them all. So for future reference for all you potential “Piece of Me”-goers: the pit is definitely where it’s at.
3. Girl’s Still Got It—Her Mind-Blowing Outfits & Dance Sequences
This is not a drill – I repeat, this is NOT a drill; the woman is a literal goddess living among us. After all these years and after all that she’s been through, Spears hasn’t aged one bit – her body was in banging shape, her outfits were super sexy (and sparkly), and her high-energy was ceaseless. In typical Britney style, every iconic song was accompanied by hard-hitting choreography – all of which ended with her leaving her heart on the floor and hair-whipping us to an other-worldly dimension (see the "Toxic" breakdown below). Sequined body suits and seductive two-pieces, all with incessant dips and life-ending hair-whips? My little Britney-obsessed, nostalgia-riddled heart could not deal. Disclaimer: hysteria did ensue.
4. Being able to share it with my Brother
I would not have committed to going to Vegas to see Britney Spears if I wasn’t going to be able to share it with my big brother. As two (super) crazed Britney fans, we’ve been planning this trip for years...so the fact that it finally came to fruition was pretty special. Our evening consisted of us exchanging glances (and freak outs, obviously) when we recognized the beginning of a specific song (i.e. I Love Rock n Roll), and raving about how insanely flawless she was; the entire night was a major throwback, and we loved it. Basically, my Britney Spears “Piece of Me” extravaganza was made all the more memorable by the company I had!
5. The Fan Girling & Nostalgia-inducing Throwback Tunes
Credit where it's due: the set was nothing short of INCREDIBLE. Out of a cloud of smoke and amidst a series of illegally sexy back up dancers, Godney appears— and within mere seconds, the theatre is reduced to a searing degree of incessant cries via fan girls and guys alike. Gracing thousands of adoring fans with her beautiful, immortal presence, she instantly launched into track after track: Gimme More, "Piece of Me" (obviously), "Baby One More Time!", "Stronger", "You Drive Me Crazy", "Til the World Ends" – her iconic set list just went on and on... While I would’ve died to see her perform "Born to Make You Happy" (my all-time favourite Brit track), Spears performed tons of notable hits and the nostalgia was totally real; it was as though I was transported back to my childhood and adolescent years (those between 1999-2011, to be exact). Needless to say, my chill was completely lost, and excitement way beyond controllable - I may or may not have cried like, the whole time.