June 30, 2011
@ Oracle Arena
Better than: Having an actual seizure. I think.
There was very little doubt — after watching a gaggle of high school girls in sequined tube tops and six-inch stilettos almost throw down in broad daylight inside the Oakland Coliseum BART station — that the night would be an entertaining one. But the religious protesters camped outside the will call line at Oracle Arena really sealed the deal.
“Do you come to every show here, or did you come out especially for Rihanna?” I asked a middle-aged guy in a red “JESUS SAVES” baseball cap, who had just muttered, helpfully, “Put some clothes on” at a different group of stiletto-and-vinyl-clad teens.
He considered this thoughtfully for a minute. “We're here for most things, really,” he said, in a slightly conspiratorial tone. “It's not about the show, it's about — there's usually at least one person here who could use our message. I mean … we were here for Sesame Street Live.”
Time will tell whether any of Rihanna's devotees were converted to born-again Christianity last night. The Church of Seizure-Inducing Graphics and Lingerie as Outerwear, for one, gave them some serious competition.