Britney Does Denver

Mar 242004
Authors: Josh Huseby, Ab Berendt

A nervous tension fills the arena as nearly 19,000 concertgoers

wait for the main event. The two-story stage hides behind five,

red, Doritos-shaped sheets. Any slight movement in the curtains

incites anticipatory screams among the herds of oogly-eyed


In an instant the lights fade and the collective emits a banshee

wail that fills the arena and assaults the senses, which under

normal circumstance would be frightening, but here is absolutely


The beat drops with the curtain as a portly concierge waddles on

stage wearing a black tuxedo, black top hat and glittered eye


“Welcome to the Onyx Hotel,” he bellows in a sinister voice.

“Let the Onyx be your guide.”

A silver ice cream-truck-like vehicle, stripped of all innocence

by the stripper poles that adorn it, emerges from the back of the

stage with Britney Spears astride.

Fire, lights and skin draws the audience into “The Onyx Hotel,”

Spears’ current tour, which came through Denver on March 15.

The beehive of speakers, anchored above the stage, spews the

distorted synth intro to “Toxic,” Spears’ latest single, as nearly

naked dancers fall from the scaffolding clutching umbrellas like

sexed-up versions of Mary Poppins.

There was dry humping, pole dancing, cleavage quivering, ass

shaking and that was all before the first song was over.

Following this display the wholesome family atmosphere dissolves

into a karaoke sex party minus the singing and I find myself asking

why anyone would pay to be here.

Amy Ridnour, 31, said she got the tickets at work so she brought

her 6-year-old daughter, Delaney, but other members of the audience

chose to leave the kids at home.

“We came because my husband thinks she is hot,” said Lynette

Horton, 32.

Horton bought the tickets for her husband Alan Horton, 33, as a

joke for his birthday.

But the joke is on those who paid between $40 and $120 to see

Spears lip-sync. Many of these attendees resemble Spears herself,

wearing uber-cropped mini skirts that carefully graze the edge of

their scantily-thonged rears.

And peppered throughout this sea of clones are twenty-somethings

trying to recapture their fading youth, as well as parents,

desperate to connect with their children by sharing an evening of

what they thought would be wholesome entertainment.

However, the erotic innocence of Spears in her schoolgirl

uniform has been stripped away in favor of the flesh tone body suit

she dons during her ode to masturbation, “Touch of My Hand.”

She pretends to sing as she writhes in a fake bathtub.

“I’m into myself in a most precious way,” goes the song as one

male back-up dancer, wearing only his tighty-whities, humps a bed

while another dancer performs a lap dance for no one on a nearby

chair. Not to be outdone, a fellow dancer, lying on a second in her

bra and panties, begins to “find (herself) in a most precious


The escalators, beds, bathtubs, stairs, luggage carts and

flamboyant concierge fool no one. This is no hotel; it is a brothel

— a brothel that deteriorates into “The Best Little Whore House in

Denver” by the next number.

Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds are replaced with thick drumbeats

and Spears in her pink bra and panties. Soon after hitting the

stage in her new outfit she makes her way to a nearby bed. A male

dancer begins stalking her like a hungry lion on the plains of the

Serengeti. The predator finds his prey standing at the headboard,

legs spread, awaiting his arrival.

Those parents, who were so eager to show their kids a good time,

have had enough and quickly guide their youngsters to the nearest

exit. Children, wide-eyed like deer caught in headlights, take one

stair at a time, unsure of each step. They emerge from the portal,

born-again into a new world of tainted morals with parents in


Soon thereafter the spectacle draws to a close and the rest of

the audience disembarks from the journey that was “The Onyx


The show drew mixed reaction from the crowd. Some were pleased

while others were disgusted.

“It was impressive until the last set,” said Julie Hunter, 38.

Hunter said she was embarrassed to have her children there, but her

husband Kelly Hunter, 39, was not.

“The porn part was hot,” Kelly Hunter said.

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