Flawless Alicia Keys sets the Rogers Arena on fire

Set The World On Fire - Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys brought her “Set The World On Fire” tour to Vancouver last Friday, and it was a spectacular show.

Donning a revealing top and curve-hugging leggings, Keys masterfully performed her most popular singles while peppering songs from her latest LP Girl on Fire. Highlights include the breathtaking “No one,” a performance where the audience happily waved their cell phones in the air (as instructed by Keys) while the singer-songwriter’s voice roared.

Set The World On Fire - Alicia Keys & Miguel

As expected, mega hits “If I Ain’t Got You” and “Unthinkable” pleased the crowd. “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart,” another big hit from Keys’ early career, was also nice, although I found the little skit in the bridge a little cheesy.

From her new material, “Listen to Your Heart” and the Maxwell-assisted “Fire We Make” were the highlights, while the ballad “Not Even The King” was poignant and sincere. As expected, the lead single “Girl On Fire” thrilled the nearly-sold out arena.

Keys’ vocals held up well, which was a pleasant surprise given that her recent TV performances have been hit-and-miss. Keys also showed off some great moves in uptempo songs such as “Limitedless.”

In the past, I thought Keys forced sexiness into her materials (for examples, see performances of “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart” from a few years ago).  But in the concert, Keys exuded sexiness naturally. Clearly, this is one woman who finally found herself.

Miguel did a nice job opening while showing some surprising dance moves. Although his vocals are on point — and some songs such as “Do You Like Drugs” kept things interesting — he didn’t always connect with the audience, no thanks to the lack of a big screen during his set. If Miguel decides to tour on his own  — at a smaller venue, perhaps? — I’m totally there!