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Shut Up and Fly: Rihanna’s Insane 777 Tour Reaches Stockholm (Syndrome)

Rihanna / Photo by Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Rihanna is in the midst of her 777 Tour, bringing 250 press and fans along with her band and crew on a chartered plane around the world, performing seven shows in seven countries in seven days — all in the name of promoting her November 19 album Unapologetic. Does that sound as insane as it sounds fun? It totally is.

Over the last 48 hours, a critical point was surpassed via travel weariness, scarcity of provisions, and delirium from inhaling the intoxicating fumes of Rihanna’s aura. We are now in Stockholm after a seven-hour plane ride from Toronto. I write to you from the club.

1. After drunk plane numero uno, plane leg two was a quiet slumber.
Everyone was exhausted from the Mexico City smog, or at least I was, having puked twice from a two-hour bus ride in DF traffic.

2. Toronto fans chanted “RiRi” like it was a national anthem.
Just before she took the stage. It was very polite, and therefore very unison. Canadians are like next-level civilized Americans, maybe.

3. No “Dreezballz.”
I have renamed Drake. Despite speculation that he would show up in his hometown everywhere from the internet to local CBC news, nada. The band keeps playing a little interlude from “Take Care” into “Where Have You Been,” though, so for a minute you could hear the crowd holding its collective breath.

4. She did “Don’t Stop the Music.”
The sets in DF and Toronto were exactly the same except for her 2007 hit, which killed live. She’s slowly showing her extreme versatility in these gigs — I’m partial to her Caribbean shit, like “Man Down” though sadly no “Rude Boy” thus far — but she shines on her many dance jams, mega BPMs, as well as Nuno-assisted acoustic track. You know, AND THAT’S WHY SHE’S FAMOUS AND SHIT.

5. She might have been slightly twisted?
Evidence: request for two drinks during the set, the second arriving in a RED PLASTIC CUP like the kind COLLEGE KIDS play BEER PONG with. Lotta cursing! Also, singing to Nuno rather than the audience a few times. Also though, we are starting to go insane, so she could have had a touch of the plane crazy.

6. Nuno walked into economy class before take-off from Toronto to Stockholm.
Rihanna’s longtime guitarist, fly Portuguese longhair Nuno Bettencourt, randomly waltzed into the press/Navy area of the plane for a few precious moments like NBD. He spoke to a few randoms, then dissipated in a cloud of blue smoke.

7. The Swedish “club” was a royal ballroom.
The chandeliers had chandeliers. The ceilings had frescoes of what appeared to be Swedish royalty, and/or a bunch of white dudes with blow-outs and Captain Jack Sparrow shirts.

8. Rihanna’s outfits.
Can we talk about them? In Toronto she wore a khaki baggy cropped trouser, matching button down, pointy stilettos in same nude hue, white bralet. She looked like DMX as styled by Anna Wintour. Stockholm’s denim hot pants and CHANEL DOOKIE ROPE couldn’t get any crazier. Full rundown of designers to come.

9. Sweden has been the dancing-est crowd thus far.
Maybe it’s Europe, but these tall Scandinavian people know how to party. But also, Stockholm might have been her best set yet, a good balance between the looseness of Toronto and the wound up kineticism of DF.

10. Kanye came but didn’t perform.
Having dropped the “Diamonds” remix a mere hour before her performance (publicist Gabe T sent 777 tourgoers a heads-up from INSIDE THE CLUB), and knowing Yeezy was at the show, journos had a hunch. But this is clearly the Rihanna show, which is refreshing considering the recent spate of “surprise guest” overkill that has made many of our biggest stars seem kinda common. This chick got hers, anyway.

As the 777 troops become increasingly delirious, this tour is about to get really real. Paris, Berlin, London, New York are next. Sorry if missive three is written in emojis!