Enter the Circus

With nearly a decade of superstardom under her belt, Christina Aguilera can pretty much do whatever she pleases, whether it be making a record in tribute to all of her favorite old-school jazz and blues singers, to going all-out theatrically during her concerts. Unfortunately for her fans, however, the extravagant pyrotechnics, insane circus props and numerous stuntmen that make up the Back to Basics tour were paid for through the ridiculously high ticket prices – prices that more than likely prevented many fans from seeing their favorite powerhouse vocalist. Those that did not make it out to Aguilera’s latest tour have not totally lost out, however, with the release of her latest concert DVD, “Back to Basics: Live and Down Under.”

The two-disc set is complete with not only Aguilera’s full concert, but interviews with those that contribute to the show, as well Aguilera herself. The first disc gives fans the unforgettable concert experience the singer is famous for, as she opens the show on that chill-inducing high note at the beginning of “Ain’t No Other Man,” the first single off her latest album, Back to Basics.

Not unlike her other concerts, Aguilera’s show is complete with many costume changes, the only difference being that this particular tour’s costumes follow the many different themes displayed during the show. Following the same pattern as her album, the first half of the show follows a “down south jazz” theme, with Aguilera prancing around the stage in costumes that include a skimpy flapper dress. The second half of the show follows the freakish circus theme that carries the second half of her album, with Aguilera taking the stage in a ringleader costume that consists of a gold sequined jacket and a pair of hot pants.

Aguilera has also made changes to her old hits, such as “What a Girl Wants” (now with a reggae theme) and “Dirrty” (a horn section now handles beats the song was so well-known for). Whether this new change to old favorites is for the better can only be decided by fans.

One change that has been made for the better is Aguilera’s audience interaction; rather than encouraging audience participation from afar, the singer makes an effort to grab reaching hands, and even invites one lucky male fan on stage for a little fun with herself and her female dancers during her song “Nasty Naughty Boy.”

What makes the second disc stand out so much is talk about what was then Aguilera’s secret pregnancy. The interviews even include Aguilera’s camera-shy husband and the singer herself talking about how the tour has changed since finding out about her pregnancy.

In her interview, Aguilera says that she feels entertainment is a great outlet for people to use as a release, something that drives her to make her shows so spectacular. “I want to take everybody on a journey,” Aguilera says in an exclusive interview on her DVD. “I want them to use their imaginations. I want them to escape whatever’s been going on in their day, their week; whatever’s troubling them, I want this to be their form of escape, at least for the next two hours.”