Has Miley Cyrus changed her mind?
It’s been nearly a year since she upended pop culture with the Twerk Heard Round the World at the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony in Brooklyn. But at Nassau Coliseum Friday night, the start of the second leg of her “Bangerz” tour, Cyrus declared that she had a revelation during her time off, as she recovered in the hospital from a serious allergic reaction to antibiotics that resulted in the cancellation of a string of concerts, including her originally scheduled Coliseum show in April.
“The whole next tour is going to be more about this,” she said during the acoustic set halfway through her two-hour show. “This is my favorite part of the show … "
Cyrus said she enjoyed that part of her show more than when she was dancing around with a giant orange bird, which she did earlier in the set. She then proceeded to take on Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” The Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” with no special effects or choreographed moves -- just her powerful voice.
That she can get an arena filled with teens and young adults to sing along with Dolly Parton’s country hit from 1973 speaks to the power of Cyrus. And, for the most part, during this version of the “Bangerz” tour, she uses that power for good.
Sure, Cyrus still swears like a sailor and her show still has its racy moments that include plenty of dance moves that would make a stripper proud. She still enters the stage by sliding down a giant tongue, spits water into the crowd, and shows video clips where she wears little more than strategically placed pieces of tape and black paint. However, her message -- yes, she has one -- is one of inclusion. “Nobody here is going to judge you,” she tells the crowd during “Adore You,” encouraging fans to kiss whomever they want during the song. Her band and her large dance troupe is filled with people of nearly every size, shape and race. She hooted loudest when two guys shared a passionate kiss for the camera, saying, “You guys are so cute!”
For all her plans to shock and awe, Cyrus seems more interested in doing that with her musical choices now, even adding The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” into her set.
As Cyrus sang at the close of her main set, “I’ve turned into someone else.” Then, she mounted her giant inflatable hot dog and rode it around over the crowd, before heading off into the sunset.
SETLIST: SMS (Bangerz) / 4x4 / Love Money Party / My Darlin' / Maybe You're Right / -- U / Do My Thang / #GetItRight / Can't Be Tamed / Adore You / Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds / Drive / Rooting for My Baby / You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go / There Is a Light That Never Goes Out / Summertime Sadness / Jolene / On My Own / Someone Else // ENCORES: We Can't Stop / Wrecking Ball / Party in the U.S.A.