At around noon on Tuesday, a Red Bull-swilling Britney Spears left her Beverly Hills home dressed in sweats, boarded a tour bus, and with police cars and paparazzi in tow, hit the freeway headed to her first performance in three years.
Destination: the House of Blues in San Diego.
Escorted by her cousin Allie and a security team, Spears arrived at HOB San Diego mid-afternoon to a crowd of media and adoring fans.
“It was very exciting to see her walk in because nobody believes she is actually doing this,” one fan, Carol Byron, told Usmagazine.com. “We’ve been waiting several hours and are hoping to be one of the first groups inside.”
Fans began pouring into the sold out 1,200-person venue at 7 p.m., many of them not knowing if they would actually see Britney after rumors of a last-minute cancellation had circulated earlier in the day.
Kid Lightning, a San Diego DJ who opened the show for Britney, hung out backstage with Spears before the show.
“She wasn’t nervous at all. She seemed really fired up and ready to go,” Lightning says. “She was definitely happy and in good spirits.”
Britney finally took the stage promptly at 10:01 p.m. sporting a dark-brown wig held down by a headband, a pink bikini top, jean mini-skirt, fishnet stocking and sexy white boots.
“She had a shy smile on her face when she walked on stage for the first time,” concert-goer Lauren Hutton tells Us. “But when people started screaming, you could tell she loved it and was so excited to be on stage again and have all that attention.”
Spears’ 14-minute performance featured just five of her classic hits. After a brief remix of “Baby One More Time,” Britney launched into “I’m A Slave 4 U” and “Breathe On Me.”
At one point, Britney invited a male fan on-stage and had him sit in a chair. Britney and her dancers performed around the excited fan in a circle as he looked on in awe.
“She still has all the sexy moves and is a great performer,” fan Steve Klein tells Usmagazine.com. “No doubt she was lip synching. She didn’t sing a word, but it didn’t bother me because I thought she looked hot and gave a great performance.”
The final two songs were “Do Something” and “Toxic,” which Britney performed wearing a white fur coat. At the end of “Toxic,” Britney blew a kiss to the crowd signaling the end of her show. “I thought she was awesome,” one partier, Eric Schmidt, tells Us. “She didn’t try anything new, but she did what works for her and it was great to see. She didn’t fall over, her wig didn’t fall off and overall I thought she did great.”
Then Britney, who would immediately board her bus and head back home to L.A., spoke her only words to the crowd: “Thank you all for coming. Give it up for my dancers. Thank You.”
No, Brit. Thank you for coming back! It’s been way too long.