so, a couple of days late on this but plenty of time to ruminate on the show.
Ziggo Dome (17k capacity) was pretty full - lower and upper tier more or less packed out while the floor seemed about 80% full, so that was a nice start.
She absolutely RATTLED through Bionic/Your Body/Genie in the opening section (not a medley but very truncated versions) and the crowd seemed a touch nonplussed. She ticked off quite a few Stripped numbers (The Voice Within, Dirrty, Can't Hold Us Down) early on - the latter especially was UTTERLY FAB but people honestly just didn't seem to have a clue what to make of her her signature "SAY!" made the odd appearance but for the most part it's been replaced by a "toss the head back and cackle" which is really QUITE something when you witness it for the 10th time in the space of five minutes often she would cackle mid-line and adlib "I love it!" in the most ludicrously self congratulatory way - my reaction, naturally, was U R SO FAB! but I'm not sure everyone was quite on the same page there.
Anyway the show becomes less bipolar when she starts performing things in full, and strangely Maria (a Liberation dud that got a big production here) and Twice (which is gorge anyway) really got the crowd warmed up quite nicely - her vocals on Twice were absolutely astonishing. Pause here to note in fact that her vocals throughout were completely incredible - there's no audible wear and tear in her voice whatsoever. She really showboated the fuck out of Twice and various other numbers after that, which seemed to do a good job of winning the locals over.
The show really takes off in the back half - it's not a fave of mine but Ain't No Other Man went all the way off and Candyman, which is my favourite Xtina song, was possibly the performance of the night. She really tore me a new hole with that one. People seemed a touch bemused when Accelerate began but the mix she performed had big stabby synths that made it into a right banger and it really landed. Obviously Beautiful got the best reaction of the night. Say Something was also a very unexpected highlight - her ability to peel it back and deliver a beautifully restrained vocal when strictly necessary has not abandoned her.
It's not an enormous production but the dancers and projections were great (the Xtina in the videos was noticeably skinnier than the one on stage) and it never felt cheap or lazy, there was always plenty going on. If William Baker is her stylist as @Edward says, he did a very mixed job indeed here. One look (for Ain't No Other Man) which was to die for - a black and red leather trenchcoat and beret affair which made her look like one of Madame X's field agents in the Paris bureau.
I really wasn't sure what to expect but it was a highly entertaining night, she's a unique entertainer and I would absolutely go again. (Evil) queen!
Not sure where the best place for this video would be but I've been served a MASTERCLASS with MS AGUILERA on an ad on YouTube and I couldn't stop laughing at the terrified students nodding along while she tells them to PUSH THAT BREATH OUT