March 18, 2009 — I went to the Britney Spears “Circus” concert at the Air Canada Centre. It was a visual spectacle. The production value was way up there, with elaborate sets and side-show acts to keep the audience entertained between costume changes. The stage was set as a three ring circus, with a larger middle ring above which numerous aerial acts involving wires and suspension were performed for certain numbers. For example, during the “Everytime” number, Britney sat on the handle of a giant umbrella as it was suspended above the arena. Due to the layout of the stage, any location within the arena provided a decent view of the show. However, and perhaps to the benefit of Britney, there was no jumbotron to show up-close shots of the stage. While there was a jumbotron there, that was circular and wrapped above the middle ring, it mostly served to show intro videos to performances, which were actually rather well done and reminiscent of an actual music video. One video shown right before “Freakshow” was played to the track of Marilyn Manson’s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” from his 1995 Smells Like Children album — which seemed somewhat out of place but fitting nonetheless. The side-show acts with circus folk (or carnies?), though sometimes drawn on for a bit too long, provided entertainment between the lulls and really made it a circus atmosphere. Could’ve done without the clowns though, not a fan of clowns.