Britney Cracks Whip in Circus
Big Top performance in Big Easy launches singer's first tour in 5 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2009 3:31 AM CST

(Newser) – "Don't call it a comeback quite yet," warns Chuck Arnold in People as Britney Spears bumped and grinded her way back into fans' hearts last night during the New Orleans launch of her first concert tour in five years. And though neither her voice, moves, or physique were quite what they once were, make no mistake, warns Ann Powers in the Los Angeles Times—"the mighty Aphrodite with the troublesome tawdry streak renewed her claim as one of the world's most adept manipulators of public interest."

The star descended from the ceiling onto the Big Top-themed stage to kick off a risqué, carnivalesque 16-song performance, "looking hearteningly happy as she took on the role of ring mistress, clearly relishing the chance to prove herself healthy and in control," Powers writes. "Oh my god, she looks amazing," said one of the 16,000 fans in attendance. "And the show's a spectacle—it really looks like a three-ring circus."