Miley Smokes Pot, Goes Wild on Stage at Art Basel
"I know you want me to just shake my ass," quipped Miley Cyrus onstage during her wild performance last night in Miami. It was a spot-on observation considering 99% of the crowd was double-fisting with their iPhones in one hand and complimentary cocktails in the other—the only way to snap an Instagram of the salacious pop star. But this wasn't your average twerk-heavy stop on the Bangerz tour; this was a very special (aka invite only) opening night performance at Art Basel presented by Jeffrey Deitch, Tommy Hilfiger, and V Magazine. This was ART. This was (don't hate me Gaga) art pop! This was so much more!
Miley literally came out like a wrecking disco ball in a silver wig, silver pasties, and a silver bodysuit—and I'm pretty sure it was not custom Tommy Hilfiger. She set the stage ablaze—literally. In Miley's words, she was "so fucking high, man. And so is the whole front row." Aside from the pot smoke, fog, exploding streamers, and confetti filled the air, along with guitar-riffing dancing mushrooms. Miley’s best back up dancer Amazon Ashley shimmied her pasties in unison with Miley's, while she played the trumpet. And then there were Miley's pipes—holy high notes! Miley belted out a slew of killer covers, opening with the crowd favorite Rick James' "Super Freak," followed by some Beatles and Johnny Cash. (Yes, seriously.) Miley even sat down at the piano for a moment to croon out a depressing ballad she wrote about a dream she had about her friend's cat dying, which resulted in her wailing the anthemic chorus ("I had a dream, what does it mean?") into the Miami moonlight, the perfect segue into a monologue about the not-so-great year she's had, including the death of her dog, Floyd, which turned her particularly morbid. "A dog dying is a really shitty fucking thing," she said before admitting that the shitty situation has helped her to make more meaningful art. Yes, Miley Cyrus was full of surprises last night.
Alas, the classic covers were much appreciated, but Miley really got us #turntup when she closed with her hedonistic anthem "Love Money Party," and, honestly, isn't that what Art Basel's really all about these days? I pondered this while dollar bills printed with Miley’s likeness shot out into the crowd (and into everyone’s face) as the magnetic pop star sashayed off stage.
Looking above to the last piece of falling confetti and into the stunning moonlight there was one last surprise: Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips (who performed with the star) released a mass of silver balloons that read "FUCK YEAH BASEL."