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Hannah Montana Concert Review From Arizona

Girls night at Hannah Montana

Yvette Armendariz
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 9, 2007 11:46 PM

It was Girls Night Out at Friday night's sellout Best of Both Worlds show in Glendale.

Droves of girls - from preschoolers to teens to moms - filled Jobing.com Arena to see Miley Cyrus perform as herself and pop idol Hannah Montana. Fans also showed up for opening act Jonas Brothers, who, like Cyrus, are backed by multimedia powerhouse Disney and quickly gaining popularity among young teens and 'tweens.
 
For young fans, the show was the equivalent of getting tickets to a Madonna concert for their moms.

Disney's Hannah Montana, launched last year, quickly gained popularity among children age 14 and younger. The show won fast fans because Hannah Montana represents a fantasy - a rock star life and normal life. And Moms love that the show is quirky, but clean.

On Friday, girls (and some boys) pulled their moms to get over to the arena as the sun set. They needed time to buy up souvenirs and get situated. Many dressed as Hannah would, stylish and school-girlish, and a few donned blonde wigs.

And yep, even the moms got into the act, wigs and all.

Brigid Kiley and her friend Christie Ferris, who chaperoned their daughters, were decked out in the wigs and danced for much of the show, holding up their young daughters who angled to get a good view from the floor.

"I knew this meant a lot to her. She loves the music," said Kiley of Scottsdale. She paid a premium for her tickets, but said it wasn't too bad - she's a nurse, so she wasn't going to go overboard. "It's our night out with the girls."

The crowd of young girls jumped to their feet as soon as the lights dimmed. Many rushed to the stage, encouraged by their parents who stuck them with cameras to get a quick and close picture of the teen pop star. A few parents put their kids in the empty seats left behind by fans who pushed their way up close. But for the most part, the crowding was tame compared to performances put on by hair bands of the '80s.

The production, filled with peppy dance numbers, fireworks and confetti, was simple but perfectly flashy for young fans. Glitz increased during Miley's segment. Still, dance numbers weren't nearly as intricate as performed by veteran pop stars, but styled nicely by Kenny Ortega, who directed High School Musical.

Cyrus' character, Hannah Montana, played an eight-song set, starting with a large production for Rock Star, a song off her latest album. With confetti filling the video screens, Hannah was lowered onto the stage in a go-go style cage. But much to a mom's satisfaction, she was well covered in a glittery silver top and black leggings. Fireworks helped set the mood: This is big.

"I want everyone up on their feet," she shouted out. And most stood. Well, the little ones did tire out long before the show ended.

Five of the songs, including Old Blue Jeans and Nobody's Perfect, came from her latest album. But the crowd really took to the original songs, including Pumpin' Up the Party and I Got Nerve.

Jonas Brothers joined Cyrus on stage during We Got the Party and then had an encore of their own. They started the show with an energetic seven-song set that included their hits SOS and Hold On. Their encore, which gave Cyrus time to get out of her character and become herself, featured another favorite, Year 3000.

Cyrus - as herself - opened big with Start All Over. It was big hair, lots of blowing hair, fireworks, glittery makeup and flashier costumes. She kept the crowd dancing with seven more Miley songs, including the popular See You Again and Girls Night Out.

Fans loved the duet with Miley and a video Hannah, belting out the iconic Hannah song (at least for 'tweens) The Best of Both Worlds.

She did a one-song encore. The song, a sentimental favorite called I Miss You - a song she wrote for her Pappy, who passed away a few years back.

Obviously Hannah Montana is quite the sensation. More than 2 million people watch each episode and the first self-titled album has sold nearly 3 million copies to date. Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus, released in June, has already exceeded 1.5 million in sales.

Then there are the DVDs, dolls, clothes, purses, guitars, video games, Halloween costumes, you name it.

Gotta love the marketing.