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My name is Meihoukaiandra Baackes, and I have a confession to make. Seeing the Princess of Pop live in Las Vegas? It was a highlight of my twenty-six years on this planet. And I’m not ashamed.

The fact that a preteen in the early 2000’s was obsessed with Britney Spears doesn’t need much of an explanation. The fact that a (not a girl not yet a) grown woman today still regularly requests her songs at bars to the great disdain of hipster DJs everywhere? I don’t really have anything to say for myself other than the cult of Britney is an addictive one. (And I really had to stop myself from making another song title reference there.)

Anyway, ever since my girl started a residency a the AXIS Theater at Planet Hollywood, I’ve had a laser-like determination to land a ticket. But Brit and I are busy ladies, and twice now I’ve had the painful experience of flying away from McCarran International Airport sans Piece of Me ticket stub. I was not going to let that happen again, which is how I ended up basically planing an entire six week trip around getting to see this show.

Zoe, Emma and I ended up getting tickets for a Wednesday, which obviously is little more low key of a night than a Friday or Saturday, even in Vegas. But we had plans to make it a big one regardless. The girls gave me the reigns to planning the night of our collective dreams, and I knew exactly where to kick it off: happy (half) hour on .

I took a brief spin on the High Roller on my fourth Vegas trip when it was still in it’s first few thousand rotations and loved seeing Sin City all lit up at night from above — it nearly rivaled the helicopter ride I’d taken over the Strip on my second Vegas trip. I knew I wanted Zoe and Emma to have this amazing experience, but I was hoping to try something new as well, so we settled on a daytime ride at 5pm (pretty much the last rotation before the slightly pricier night tickets kick in), and went for the fun open bar option.

It was so worth it.

Day time is a little less crowded, and so we had a whole pod to ourselves! Thirty minutes flew by as we chatted with our sweet bartender (who generously poured us special shots at the top and to-go drinks at the bottom — you definitely get your money’s worth out of the open bar), took a million photos, sipped on our premium cocktails, and soaked up the views of The Strip. Once again I loved the experience and feel that it’s more or less a Vegas must! Sober rolls are $22 by day and $32 by night, and open bar versions are $37 by day and $44 by night. All in all, aoretty  perfect way to start — or end — any Vegas outing.

After disembarking, we didn’t have far to stroll. We’d made early dinner reservations at Chayo, steps away from the High Roller in The Linq, which was a fun and tasty if a bit more casual than I remembered from my previous visit. Before I knew it we were back in our room, changing into our much-discussed concert outfits, debating our favorite Britney tunes, and just generally losing our shit over what was about to go down.

We were about to get a piece of Britney.

When the doors opened, I was surprised by how intimate The Axis theater felt. While we were relatively far back, there was a really gradual slope to the seating section, and so we were pretty close to eye level with the stage. I’ve never been in a theater quite like it before and I really enjoyed it — no seats felt like nosebleeds.

When the curtains opened, a theater full of fans roared to life.

Between the big fat nostalgia bomb of the music, the hyperventilating with sensory overload and the sweet sensation of a longtime dream coming true, I’m pretty sure I blacked out with excitement for some portions of the show. Guys.

Britney was SO FIERCE. I have to admit I was a tad nervous leading up to the show. I’d heard reviews that the star appeared to be just going through the motions, that her dancing was robotic and that her heart was clearly anywhere but the stage.

But the woman we saw on stage that night? She was having a blast. And it wasn’t just a one-off — stories began to circulate that .

There was room for improvement. A number where a fan was brought onstage for a weird S&M skit felt off-brand for Britney — she seemed awkward throughout it — and we were surprised by how little she chatted to the audience. The biggest issue however was the lack of screens. Unlike almost every other show of this scale I’ve ever been to, there were no live cameras on the stage at any time. It was frustrating when we were dying to see the details of the gorgeous sets and costumes onstage — not to mention our girl up close and personal! I’ve heard rumors that this was expressly written into Britney’s contract because she was shy about lip synching. Who knows what the real reason is — I can’t fathom any show producer making that choice, though — but I hope everyone involved reconsiders. Brit, girl, you are ready for your close-up!

(Speaking of close ups — while others around us were straight up filming the entire production with their iPhones, I was chastised a couple times for taking quick snaps with my , I have no idea why they were treated different by security, but just a heads up in case you’re planning to bring a camera in place of a smart phone!)

Those gripes aside, it was a top notch Vegas production — elaborate sets, impressive choreography, beautiful costumes, and one very enthusiastic performer.

This show is serious fan service. I’d resisted peeking at the show playlist ahead of time, and was giddy when they played pretty much every classic hit I was hoping to hear. I had sky high expectations for this show and it hit them. No kidding — when she extended her residency into 2016, I started looking at my calendar to see if I could possibly hit this baby one more time.

We were on a high when the curtains closed. Happy tears were definitely involved. I proposed drinks at my perennial favorite, The Chandelier, in order to dissect our favorite numbers and allow our heart rates to return to normal. With The Cosmopolitan right across the street from Planet Hollywood, it was a natural next step.

Inspired by Britney’s moves, we knew we had to hit a dance floor before heading home. While weekends in Vegas are total free-for-alls and you can pretty much walk into any establishment serving booze and find a party, mid-week requires a bit more strategizing. When we heard there was an industry night at Chateau at Paris Las Vegas, which just so happened to be en route on our stroll home (I avoid cabs when possible in Vegas — they are stupidly expensive and it’s fun to walk The Strip), we figured it would be rude not to pop by.

Once our feet gave their final protest, we capped off the night with a silly (and somewhat tipsy at this point, let’s admit it) photo shoot back at The Flamingo.

All in all, I’m not sure if a more perfect Vegas night has ever existed (and yes, I’ve seen The Hangover.)  Just writing this post has me aching for a time machine so I could go back and do the whole thing over again. Fellow Britney fans? Point your compass towards The Axis theater. Keep an eye out for me — I’ll be the one ugly crying in the next row.

Have you ever traveled for a bucket list concert or show? Was it worth it? Also, sister Britney fans reveal yourself! Let’s talk greatest hits in the comments.

Many thanks to Viator for providing High Roller tickets and Britney Spears for personally hosting me at Piece of Me. (Okay, fine, I suppose it was more like Caesars Entertainment Group, but can you just let a girl dream a little? Jeez.) As always, you receive my honest thoughts, full opinions and poorly written jokes regardless of who is footing the bill.

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58 Comments...
  • Jessica
    February 1 2016

    I absolutely love this story, the refers to Britney songs and your enthusiasm! 🙂

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Ha ha, thanks Jessica! I certainly was in a good mood writing it 🙂

  • Jessica
    February 1 2016

    Glad she put on a show for you! I saw her there last October and it didn’t seem like she was even bothering to lip sync. The backup dancers were putting more soul into it than she was for sure.

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      I’d heard similar reports and was a little nervous. I’m so glad she found the energy and inspiration she needed and is loving the stage again — maybe time for an encore visit for you? 😉

  • eden
    February 1 2016

    This sounds like so much fun! Now I wished I went to see Britney Spears when I was in Las Vegas last summer. I ended up going to see David Copperfield instead (which I loved!) but not I have a good excuse to go back and see Britney! Great photos and story, thanks for sharing!

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      There’s ALWAYS a good reason to return to Vegas 😉 I have several Cirque shows still calling my name…

  • Erika
    February 1 2016

    I know people say this all the time — but I’ve always felt like we would get along really well from reading your writing over the years and then THIS POST! Oh my gosh! I am a huuuuuge Britney fan and as soon as she announced Vegas residency, I knew I wanted to go! But I didn’t get to until this past fall and it was everything I needed it to be! This review is pretty much my experience (and it looks like our seats were similar too). Although, people stood and danced the whole time (myself included) but being a short girl, I had to bob and weave to catch Britney through gaps in the tall people in front of me. But I would totally see it again! Anyway, love to see the Britney lovers out there!!! And finally finding someone who won’t “Hold It Against Me” (hehe)

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      We were on our feet dancing pretty much the whole time too! I do have to say though, considering the heels I was wearing I was glad that we had seats to rest in every once in a while during a slow number. Not sure I could have made it in the pit!

  • Michelle
    February 1 2016

    Went to see Britney the night before Halloween and the show was AMAZING. Fortunately, we were close enough (after complaining about broken seats) to be able to see her, and I can totally understand why she didn’t want huge screens — she is definitely a lip sync queen, but I feel like all of her fans realize that and don’t really care! For real, though, she’s SO fierce that even obvious lip syncing can’t hold a Britney fan down! I was almost as stoked to see that Leroy from the Real World was my bartender when I got my vat of pre-show wine!

    Sidebar suggestion for your next round in Vegas: Zombie burlesque, also at Planet Hollywood, was almost as fun as Brit, they give you jello shots during the show!

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      We said the exact same thing — lip sync away, girl, just let us admire your amazing costume and adorable face while you do it! 😀

  • Ree Bell
    February 1 2016

    Sounds and looks like an amazing night! I travelled to Glasgow for one night (from Sweden, via Edinburgh where I stayed for one night before and one night after) to see Mumford & Sons. It was the first time I saw them, but of course, about two weeks after I very excitedly bought the tickets and the trip, they announced they were coming to Stockholm a few months later.

    Which of course meant I got tickets for that show too!

    I think the next time I’m in Las Vegas I need to scout tickets in advance and not just arrive to see what’s available (though LOVE was great). I’m not as huge a Britney fan as you obviously are, but if put in a room with her music blaring you bet I’m dancing and singing along!
    Ree Bell recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Yeah, if there’s a show you really want to see in Vegas it’s worth looking that up before your flights because I’ve had several instances where I’ve been dying to see a show and it’s continually dark when I’m there — it’s happened twice with Zumanity!

  • Sarah
    February 1 2016

    OMG, I’m so jealous! Hit me baby one more time still is my one and only karaoke-song
    Sarah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      What a classic! Still one of my favorites — oh how I would watch that video over and over again when it first came out!

  • Um, I want Zoe’s outfit please and thanks (and the figure to wear it while you’re at it!).
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      You and me both! She is the fashion queen!

  • Eileen
    February 1 2016

    Love Britney, love your blog! I’ve been reading your round-up posts from the beginning (quite possibly my fave type of post!), and I’m secretly crossing my fingers that you have plans for a tell-all book one day.

    Quick q, if you have a moment: I’m going to be stopping in Vegas for a night on the way to the Grand Canyon in the spring. I’ve never been to either place before. Any recommendations on (reasonably priced) must-dos for either? Places, restaurants, activities… Britney being somewhat outside of my budget. 😉

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Hey Eileen, I actually have some posts about the Grand Canyon coming up, so stay tuned! Also check out my post about the Flamingo, which is a great budget option on The Strip. You can nab awesome deals for Vegas shows and accommodation on Travelzoo. Enjoy!

  • Maddy
    February 1 2016

    AHHHHHHHHH! I am so jealous that you saw this show. Ever since she started her residency in LV, I’ve been wanting to go. These pics are killing me!

    Can you go see Mariah’s show too and let me know which one to prioritize? K thx. 😉
    Maddy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Britney, hands down! 😉 I’m sure Mariah would be awesome to see for some straight up powerhouse vocals, but I don’t think she could hold a candle to Britney’s production values!

  • Amy
    February 2 2016

    Ha! I was so pleased to see this post in my inbox today! I was also a huge teenage Britney fan and got to see her perform twice in London when I was 15 – she put on a hell of a show then and it sounds like she’s back in action now! Great post 🙂
    Amy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      She has always been first and foremost an entertainer 😉 I would have loved to have seen her in action back in the day!

  • I have to admit, Vegas has never been on my list of places I wanted to go. But with all of the new concerts there I’m starting to get the itch! Good to know Britney is awesome! Obviously every girl’s dream from our generation!
    Megan – Forks And Footprints recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Maybe I’ll convince you Vegas is a worthy destination in my next few posts 😉

  • Melanie Fontaine
    February 2 2016

    I love how you’ve incorporated all the Britney quotes in this post! 😀
    Melanie Fontaine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Ha ha thanks Melanie! It’s a gift!

  • Janice Stringer
    February 2 2016

    Looks good fun!
    I’ve always wanted to spend my 50th birthday in Vegas.. It arrives this August so will just have to keep my fingers crossed!
    Janice Stringer recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      That sounds like an AWESOME birthday 🙂 Vegas is great at any age… well, over 21 at least 😉

  • Cate
    February 2 2016

    Wow! You guys looked like you had an awesome night! Those pictures were pretty fantastic, even if there weren’t those big screens to show her up close and personal.

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      That camera is an amazing one! I give it all the credit 🙂

  • LC
    February 2 2016

    I’m a die-hard Britney fan myself and saw her in Melbourne when she came out to Oz for the first time in 2009.

    My excitement levels were through the roof, but sadly, the expectations where not met. You’d think for the first time playing in a country, her fans would have been treated to all the hits throughout her career. Unfortunately, she played around 3 songs I actually liked, spending the majority of the show singing songs from her “Blackout” album, one of her worst performing records.

    On top of that, Britney seemed awkward – she strutted around the stage, notably lip-syncing and just… Didn’t really do much. Her back up dancers put on a better performance than she did.

    I was quite crushed by the experience (and rather irritated – the tickets to her show were not cheap). However, that was a good 7 years ago, during what was quite a rough period of her career. I’m glad to hear yours was a heckload better than mine and that Britney is back – at long last.
    LC recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      That is such a bummer. Britney has definitely been through some serious rough patches. I’m rooting for her and was thrilled to see she has rediscovered the joy of performing!

  • Kathryn Allen
    February 2 2016

    OK, all three of you look awesome – as usual – but Zoe, both those outfits are AMAZING.

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Zoe definitely has a fan club going in the comments section here!

  • Dominique
    February 2 2016

    It’s awesome that you got to see her perform! I would consider planning a trip to the south of the US to watch some of my favourite country musicians in their natural habitat 🙂
    Dominique recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      YES I’d be right there with you! I love country music… seeing so much of it in Nashville was a huge highlight!

  • Amanda | The Backpack Lass
    February 2 2016

    And this just confirmed why I need to go to Vegas pronto, amazing.
    Amanda | The Backpack Lass recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      She’s extended her residency through ’17! Woo hoo!

  • Aria
    February 2 2016

    OMG!! JEALOUSSS i neeeeed to go! britney <333 lol

  • Marni
    February 2 2016

    The High Roller looks amazing!!! Next time I’m in Vegas I am definitely hitting that up! Congrats on living a dream seeing Britney!
    Marni recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      The High Roller is a must! Loved it both by day and night 🙂

  • lara dunston
    February 3 2016

    Honey, I’m sorry to reveal I’m not a Britney fan (Madonna was my girl – showing my age, I know) but I’ve always loved Vegas. Did I tell you that Terence and I eloped to Vegas and got married at the Little White Chapel?

    We were so excited to be in Vegas – it was our first time – that we’d lined up shows to see every night. Straight after getting hitched we had our very cool guide – who wore a trench coat (it was December) and had a Bronx accent straight out of the movies (also very cool for these two Aussies) – take us to an impersonators show, where we watched people scramble to get signed autographs from the fake Cher, Elvis, Elton John, Tom Jones etc. Bizarre in a fun way.

    Your Vegas trip looked like so much fun. Looking forward to another night sipping cocktails with you somewhere! Bangkok maybe?! I promise it won’t be a reprise of Hangover 2! x
    lara dunston recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Madonna — be still my heart! Saw her in Boston when I was still in high school, had to convince my parents to let me and a friend drive three hours each way to the show when the ones in New York sold out before we could get tickets. I cried when the show in Bangkok sold out before I could land some! Devastated! But drinks with you would make up for it 🙂

      LOVE your Vegas story. Had no idea you got married there. That’s amazing!

  • Rachel Elyse
    February 3 2016

    I love that you went to see Britney!! My best friend and I were supposed to see her in high school but that’s when she blew out her knee and cancelled the entire tour. And even living so close to Vegas (and visiting often because I have family there), I have yet to see her!
    Side note: Groupon and/or Livingsocial is almost always running a coupon for the happy hour High Roller ride, I think it’s $28 instead of $32. My family went last May before my cousin’s wedding and I agree, the open bar was worth it!

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Thanks for the tip Rachel! I saw Viator had a similar sale recently on some of the rides. Seems like it’s worth it to scout out a deal.

  • Aviva
    February 4 2016

    I love this! We were in Vegas for a friends wedding over New Years, and although I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of Sin City itself, seeing Britney was the hands down highlight of the trip. And you’re right – it’s an absolute testament of her bad-ass-ery that girlfriend can lipsynch through the entire show, yet nobody gives a damn because, Britney.

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      I know, right? I didn’t mind a bit — I wanted those songs to sound exactly like they did when I first heard them a decade ago 🙂

  • Anca | Globaloud
    February 4 2016

    I’m not so much of a Britney fan, but I definitely did feel the excitement while reading your story. I’m the one who really likes doing concert/festival trips cause it usually means a lot of fun, dance and really, really mindblowing moments!
    Anca | Globaloud recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      Indeed! I think it’s great to plan trips around concerts and events. It can bring you to fun places you might not have imagined going before.

  • James
    February 9 2016

    Excellent Writing. LOVE your Vegas story. I wish one day i will be there.

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      Best of luck checking it off your bucket list! 🙂

  • Natalie
    February 10 2016

    My dads go to Vegas at least once a year for a big show. They saw Britney awhile back and loved her. They just went to Vegas a few weeks ago and saw J-Lo and said that it was the best of all the concerts they’ve seen there. And they’re gay men that have seen Cher! Don’t know if you’re a fan, but if so, you should definitely put her on your list too.
    Natalie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 11 2016

      I would LOVE to see J-Lo. Maybe I need to do the pop star rounds on my next trip 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Belle Voyage
    February 20 2016

    Yes and YES!!!! I can also fully join your britney-anonymous support group and am not ashamed that I went to Vegas to see her twice last year, ha. Great post!
    Jessica
    Jessica @ The Belle Voyage recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      March 2 2016

      Twice?! Girl, you are my spirit animal. Fingers crossed I make it back in November 🙂

  • Britt
    February 25 2016

    This sounds like an amazing day in Vegas! I love when you can go back to the same place but have such different experiences everytime. The show looked spectacular, although I’m not a huge Brittney fan (I think the Brittney Spears jokes I got when growing up kind of ruined her for me)!
    Britt recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      March 3 2016

      Ha, I can only imagine the Britney jokes/references someone my age named Britt would get! I can see how you’d be a little perturbed she stole some of the name thunder 😉