Beyoncé - "Schoolin' Life"

J.R. Taylor Choreography

Friday, June 17, 2011

Britney Spears (Getty)Pop superstar Britney Spears spent several hours Thursday night proving her critics wrong, serving up one of her flashiest shows yet at Sacramento's Power Balance Pavillion.

Spears, who weathered a fair amount of criticism for her use of pre-recorded vocal tracks during her "Circus" world tour not too long ago, even appeared to sing live through a couple of the numbers—with the aide of a backing track, naturally. Judging by videos uploaded to YouTube, Britney is sticking to the less-than-demanding choreography she used for Femme Fatale promotional appearances, but given the length of her set, we can't blame her. It didn't really matter: Britney fans were more than satisfied with the spectacle.

Nicki Minaj's opening act was not quite so impressive, according to Rolling Stone's report. Barry Walters wrote, "Although she's styled as a dance-pop diva, Minaj did little dancing — or singing, or even live rapping," later adding, "[As] a showcase for her considerable talents, her Thursday night performance lacked the commitment of her records."

Maybe she was just having trouble commanding the stage under the weight of her newest wig.

Also of note: During her performance of "Till the World Ends," Minaj's rap verse was presented in a pre-recorded video. Given that Minaj was likely still in the house, the choice to revert to a  recording was straight up weird.

Check out a video of Britney's opening night below!