Wednesday night's Miley Cyrus: Unplugged combined two things I really, really like: Miley Cyrus and MTV Unplugged . So sign me UP. Always stoked to watch Cyrus sing live. Last December, I saw Cyrus in concert. It was a truncated set during a radio station concert, not the Bangerz Tour. (The Bangerz Tour hasn’t started yet, duh.) Even so, in the short time she was onstage, she knocked my socks right off. I still can't find those socks. I knew she could sing, but actually hearing her wail in that arena was strangely overwhelming. I might’ve been moved to tears? She's just so taaaaaalented! And effortlesssss! And her voice is so cleeeeeear! Ugh, I’m a cornball. Don’t look at me.
While I was crying during “Wrecking Ball,” the grown man standing behind me called Cyrus “a talentless slut.” He was loud about it, too. UH, EXCUSE ME? NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. TRICK, DON'T KILL MY VIBE. I spun around and shot him the meanest look I could muster up. I hope my menacing, tear-stained glare gave him nightmares. Jerkface.
I realize that some people aren’t Cyrus fans. I do. I get why some of her onstage antics and offstage antics piss people off. I do. But don’t you dare call her “a talentless slut,” sir.
She's brewed up many-a-controversy and been the subject of many-a-headline, but one thing is for certain: That girl can SANG. And boy, did she sing during her Unplugged special.
Though it was an “unplugged” set, the intimate, hour-long show had a crazy amount of energy. I mean, of course it did. What else would you expect from MILEY “CRYING CAT” CYRUS? It wasn’t Bangerz: Acoustic, and it was never going to be. She was supported by a full band, backup singers, and dancers. She said she wanted to bring Nashville to Los Angeles, so everyone onstage was wearing western gear, Cyrus included. Were the costumes kitschy? Sure. But hey, I'm from the Southwest, so cowboy boots hold a special place in my heart. Also? Cyrus looked awesome, wig AND sans-wig. I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.
Oh, a horse was on the Unplugged stage, too. Oh, no. Not a real horse. Two people in one horse costume. Predictably, she twerked on said horse. She kissed said horse. She spanked said horse. She sat on said horse. Said horse danced and clopped around. Said horse was the star of "Get It Right." Someone get that horse its own Unplugged special, please.
Did I love Miley Cyrus: Unplugged Yes. Did I cry? I'LL NEVER TELL.
She asked the audience to do a call-and-response: When she said “HOE," they said “DOWN.” I waited for her to segue into “The Hoedown Throwdown.” But it did not happen. I was disappointed for a brief moment, but I realized that it's probably for the best that she didn't perform the dance routine from Hannah Montana: The Movie during her 2014 Unplugged special.
She sang this SO HARD. I was feeling it. Lots of creative key changes and vocal runs. Always into those sorts of things. I freaked out a couple of times (in a good way) while watching it.
My notes say: “Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. HOLY SHIT.” She sounded stupid-amazing on this song. She sat on a prop fence and BELTED those notes. When she hit the big “IIIII GOOOOO” note toward the end of the track, I grabbed two fistfuls of my own hair and yelled, "SUCK IT, HATERS!"
DOLLY PARTON! YES! YES! YES! Cyrus always does this song right. Parton purists might be like, “DON’T YOU COME NEAR ‘JOLENE,’ HANNAH MONTANA.” But you know what? I always think she does this song justice.
Due to the backing band, this arrangement felt fuller than the album version. It wasn't necessarily better or worse. Just different. Still an incredible performance.
All I wanted from "Wrecking Ball" was the key change in the final chorus that she’s been doing during live performances. And she delivered. So yes, I was pleased as punch.
Cyrus remarked that she’s never sweat so much while wearing a bikini top, and an audience member shouted, “TAKE IT OFF!” Cyrus laughed and said she’s already tried that with MTV, but that it didn’t go over so well. Then she added, “Actually, it went really well. You can look at life one way or the other; half-naked or half-clothed.” Keep on philosophizin', Cyrus.
“Don’t Tell Me”/“We Can’t Stop” (MADONNA!)
While Cyrus sang Madonna’s “Don’t Tell Me," (not-so) surprise guest MADONNA WALKED ONSTAGE. The two of them performed together, and my heart couldn’t take it. They transitioned into “We Can’t Stop.” I was a mess. AND THEN! Cyrus sang “We Can’t Stop” while Madonna sang “Don’t Tell Me.” At the same time. MY BRAIN OVERHEATED. I COULDN’T FUNCTION. ALL OF IT WAS TOO MUCH.
Cyrus and Madonna ended the duet with some “Don’t Tell Me” choreo, and I fainted.
I'm going to go relearn "The Hoedown Throwdown" choreo now. Feeling SO GREAT.
Images: MTV; dem3trio/tumblr