Before you go any further, please know a few things:

1. These are ONLY my opinions.
2. I am a Rihanna fan.
3. I am a rap/hip-hop fan.
4. I am very impatient.
5. I believe in respect.

Now, my "review"....

I was very excited when I unexpectedly, and at the 11th hour, was offered tickets to Rihanna's show.  I love her music, support her in a "women helping women" kind of way, and think she's a hell of a performer.

I also understand shows rarely start at the showtime printed on the ticket, or on websites.  Things happen -- production needs to be tweaked, sound issues, etc.

But THREE HOURS?  Not even Madonna keeps you waiting that long.  At least she's EARNED the right to make you hang two hours before a show...but she provides a really fun, interactive dance-party atmosphere for you to enjoy while you wait.

My Friday night timeline:

7 p.m. -- Arrive at FNC
7:30 p.m. -- We get in our seats (Remember -- showtime is allegedly 7:30).
8:30 p.m. -- The world's WORST opening act performs.  For what seemed like forever.
9:15 p.m. -- The world's worst opening act finally leaves the stage.
10 p.m. -- We're all looking at our cell phones, most of whose batteries are now dead.
10:15 p.m. -- Rihanna takes the stage.  And lip syncs.  And the sound in the arena was awful.
10:30 p.m. -- My friend and I leave.

Disappointing.  Sad, really, because we were both really looking forward to getting out.  I had a hellish week at work, and she is a single mother of a toddler who keeps her running 24/7.  But after sitting in our comfy First Niagara Center seats for almost three hours, we had to go.  We stayed for two Rihanna songs.  My friend also had to pick her son up from the sitter...who, like us, assumed she'd be relieved by 11:15 p.m. at the latest.  They don't work for free.

Trust me, I was willing to give benefit of the maybe she got a disturbing phone call from a sick relative.  Maybe she broke her ankle.  Maybe she spontaneously combusted.  But no.  It was just pure diva.  My friend has an "insider" who was working the show, and after the first 45 minutes of waiting, he texted that everything was ready (production-wise), but that the show doesn't go on until SHE says so.

On the plus side, Rihanna looked amazing. Her stage set was beautiful and exciting.  Her musicians were on point.  Her dancers were gorgeous and well-rehearsed.  I really wish I could've endured.  Maybe I'm just getting older and less accepting of artists pulling this kind of stunt.

But what really angered me was the principle.  People traveled from near and far to go to this show.  Many (like us) don't have much cash to spare, and used this night as a small getaway from routine life.  Even if the tickets were won in a radio contest, is it even remotely acceptable to make people wait that long?  Even worse, to endure some of the worst "entertainment" before taking the stage?

I'm still going to love Rihanna's music.  But my respect for her as a person has diminished some.

If I ask people to come to my house for a dinner party, and to bring their own wine and a dish to pass, would I find it acceptable to assume they'd wait three hours for me, while I sit locked in my room?

The only act I'd wait three hours to see is The Doors.  And given the circumstances, I think I'm going to have to wait a little longer than that.