It's Britney, baby — one more time.
Hot on the comeback trail, Britney Spears kicked off her first tour in five years at the New Orleans Arena Tuesday night, dressed to the nines in Big Top gear in support of her Circus album. To her fans, it was like she had never been away.
"To all the critics, she looks amazing and is very much singing live! She sounds amazing!!" attendee Julie M said via Twitter on the singer's official website.
Donning sexy ringmaster wear and surrounded by acrobats and juggling dancers galore, Spears, a Louisiana native, descended onto the stage to launch into "Circus" — naturally — the first song of her 16-song set. Other selections for the night included "Piece of Me," "Everytime," "Radar" (which she performed with a stripper pole), the controversial "If U Seek Amy," "Toxic" and her classic "Baby One More Time."
Spears closed the two-hour spectacle with an encore of "Womanizer," telling her nearly sold-out crowd, "Thank you, New Orleans."
The show marked a triumphant return to the spotlight for the 27-year-old, whose personal troubles in the past five years have included a nasty custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline and her psychiatric hospitalizations. Her next stop on the 32-city tour is Atlanta on Thursday.