Nelly Furtado, Agganis Arena, June 5, 2007
WHOA NELLY: Such potential, such a bust.
A crystal ball descended from the rafters of the Agganis Arena like a white, rhinestone-studded sun. And the crowd of mostly badass-barely-legal chicks — and a pimp in a silver tracksuit behind us — cheered, waving rainbow-colored Nelly Furtado glowsticks in time to the intro of “Say it Right.” From behind the ball’s rays, Furtado, wearing a mod, red dress, with a neon orange stripe down its center, rose atop an ivory staircase. She turned her back to the audience, and waved her arms over her head, summoning four already-pulsating back-up dancers who moved like human strobe-lights. The Nelly Furtado concert was off to a fine, Lite-Brite sort of start — so fine that when she sang “Turn off the Light” from her '00 album Whoa Nelly!, we were, all of us, ecstatic!
But, to take a cue from the artist herself, all good things must come to an end — and so they did shortly before the ominous “All Good Things” chorus, “Flames to dust/ Lovers to friends/ Why do all good things come to an end.” The crowd put down their glowsticks, and Furtado changed her outfit. In a fuchsia evening gown, and opaque black tights, she told us she loved us… before quite literally showering us with a string of okay ballads — which none of us, it seems, knew well enough to even sing along to. Montages of snow-capped mountains appeared on a screen behind the star — and the concert was transported to a pop-music tundra. A cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” couldn’t save us now. Nor could “Give It To Me,” the recent Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake single, sounding less like a Timbaland recording, and more like a defunct doorbell chime.
Ding Dong, what happened to the concert? When Furtado sang “I’m Like A Bird,” even that sounded like an elevator-music remix. “Put your wings up, Boston,” Nelly chirped. So we did. But Boston was having a hard time flying at the balladed-down pace.
It wasn’t until after the encore that Furtado finally sang “Maneater” — to which her back-up dancers threw themselves at the stage floor with a pent-up vigor, their orange-sherbert colored skirts above their heads. Hand-stands, splits, and soccer balls — bouncing to the beat of “Forca”— eventually ended the night.
But by then, some of Furtado’s fans had already left, assumedly to listen to their favorite Nelly songs on the radio — where, it turns out, they're best left.
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