Yesterday was long -- probably because it was the second night in a row where we took a red eye to our next destination. We're talking about Day 3 of the Rihanna 777 Tour, where we took a Transatlantic flight to Stockholm. It was in Sweden where we saw RiRi perform 'Stay' -- one of our favorite down-tempo tracks off 'Unapologetic' -- for the first time on the tour.

We left Toronto around 3AM, immediately following the gig. The seven-hour flight was a mix of party gatherers (mainly by the bathrooms due to extra space on the 777 Boeing) and others trying to catch shut eye. We were somewhere in between.

During our mingling stint on the flight, we briefly met tour guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, who adds additional guitar licks and flare to her 777 set list, as well as the bass player's (Adam Blackstone) wife -- who was much more energetic and rested having just joined the tour. (More on Blackstone in tomorrow's post.)

We arrived just like how the trip kicked off, bypassing any commercial airport gates; instead, we exited the plane directly to our buses that were waiting for us. It was about 4PM, but the sun was long gone, and dusk was upon us. We had just enough time to check into the hotel, shower and eat.

PopCrush (2)

At 9:15PM we left for the concert, which was located not only walking distance to our hotel but nearby Gamla Stan -- the old part the the city. The venue was the most lavish yet: An 'Unapologetic' tent and red carpet welcomed us to Berns (by Berselli Park) -- an Asian restaurant, hotel and home to one of the hottest nightclubs in Stockholm. Inside, there were several balconies adorned with gas lamps atop sculptures, and walls laced with gold leaf detailing and 19th century portraits. Three resplendent chandeliers hung from the ceiling and captured the lightening, which was a medley of blues and pinks with reds and oranges.

DJ Reflex amped up the Swedes before DJ Congorock came on (they switch off their order every concert). Being that we flew in late, the concert was pushed back almost two hours, but we kept busy chatting with fans (who waited in line for almost four hours) and DJs Avicii and Alesso. It was serendipitous for them (and for us!) that they were there -- they didn't seem to realize they had stepped into Rihanna's World. Regardless, they came to party, and hung out by the bar for most of the concert, where RiRi's camp served us complimentary beer and wine. So if there's a Avicii-Rihanna collab, so don't say we didn't call it!


Rihanna appeared just before Midnight, wearing her white-rimmed glasses again -- but no bralet! Instead, she opted for a white T-shirt, bling around her neck, and mini jean shorts adorned with a studded belt. Despite covering up, she was braless. Only RiRi can make a T-shirt look sexy. Srsly.

The set list was exactly the same as the night before, except towards the end, Rihanna performed 'Stay,' a new track off of 'Unapologetic',' in place of 'Love the Way You Lie.' "I need a drink," she stated. "This is my second time performing this" she nervously added before diving into the song. She captivated the audience -- just like on 'SNL,' where she performed the song for the first time live -- mainly because it shows RiRi at her most vulnerable state. You can tell it's a track that hits her at the core.

Just like in Toronto, she treated a fan to an HTC cell phone: "I wanna thank you for being the s--- and give you a gift," she said before handing it to someone in the crowd.

The last three tracks on her set list are always the most receptive -- cheers erupt every time she performs 'Umbrella' and her latest single, 'Diamonds,' as well as when the silver confetti falls during the last chorus of 'We Found Love.'

The after party (which we missed, I know!) consisted of coupious amounts of tequilla shots and Rihanna playing bartender. Honestly, we chose sleep because we wanted to save ourselves for the next stop -- Paris!


Rihanna 777 Tour Stockholm Set List

1. ‘Cockiness’
2. ‘Birthday Cake (Remix)’
3. ‘Talk That Talk’
4. ‘Wait Is Over’
5. ‘Man Down’
6. ‘Only Girl in the World’
7. ‘'Don't Stop the Music'
8. ‘S&M’
9. ‘Phresh Off the Runway’
Acoustic Set:
10. ‘Unfaithful’
11. ‘Take a Bow’
12. ‘Hate That I Love You’
(End Acoustic Set)
13. ‘Where Have You Been’
14. ‘What’s My Name?’
15. ‘Run This Town’
’16. ‘Live Your Life
17. ‘All of the Lights’
18. 'Stay'
19. ‘Diamonds’
20. ‘Umbrella’
21. ‘We Found Love’

PopCrush (2)