Christina Aguilera’s setlist for her Las Vegas residency, The Xperience, could look a little like this.
Xtina is taking suggestions as to what she should perform in Vegas come May 31st, so I fired up Spotify, thumbed through Christina’s entire catalogue and curated a setlist I think would go over well for Fighters and the general public looking for an entertaining show during their stay in the desert.
One of the key ingredients to creating a setlist is cohesiveness – taking the audience for a ride of career highs with a sprinkle of nostalgia and a touch of unfamiliarity. For Legend X, that includes the biggies, like “What A Girl Wants,” “Fighter” and “Genie In A Bottle,” but also a couple of one-offs that might sound fresh to casual listeners, like “Infatuation” off Stripped, or “Slow Down Baby” from Back To Basics. It wasn’t too long ago that Christina wrapped up the Liberation Tour, so a revised string of songs is just what the doctor RXed. Also, justice for ahead of its time, Bionic.
Not Myself Tonight Fighter Let There Be Love Candyman New Song
Christina xplained she wants people to escape from their everyday lives for a night and experience The Xperience. In the main promotional image for the show (up top), X is wearing a bejeweled mask – a metaphor for the masks we wear every day. Kicking off the show with “Not Myself Tonight,” the lead single off 2010’s Bionic, feels pretty perfect. The intro also includes career highlight, “Fighter,” pop monster “Let There Be Love,” “Candyman” and hopefully a new single. Doubtful anyone has sat down yet.
What a Girl Wants Come On Over Infatuation Fall In Line Masochist
The juxtaposition of the second act should feel like a punch in the face. The career-spanning set of songs starts from Christina’s early days with “What A Girl Wants” and “Come On Over,” then dips into Stripped territory with “Infatuation” (one of my all-time favorite Christina songs), then leaps into present day with “Fall In Line” and “Masochist,” both off Liberation. On paper, these five songs in this order might not seem like a fit, but sonically… they’ll evoke memories from twenty years ago to now. I’m not crying, are you crying?
Ain’t No Other Man Lady Marmalade My Girls I Hate Boys Can’t Hold Us Down Dirrty
At this point in the show, I imagine Christina sneaks off stage and slips into a pair of leather chaps and an oversized jacket. Hopefully she brings a match, because there’s a stick of dynamite waiting to be lit with this next bunch. Act III exudes girl power, and in a time when the #MeToo movement is in full swing, it’s more important than ever to shout “My girls, we’re stronger than one, and some times we gotta have fun.”
On the surface, “Ain’t No Other Man” doesn’t feel like a female anthem, but on it, Christina is the one in the driver’s seat in pursuit of a guy with soul, class. You know… an all around badass.
If Caesars Entertainment could contract Pink, Lil Kim and Mya to pop out during “Lady Marmalade” over X’s upcoming 16-date trek, that would be swell.
My prediction is a decent amount of people seeing The Xperience won’t instantly recognize “My Girls” and “I Hate Boys,” and that’s a real shame, but also a prime opportunity to introduce them to a couple of guilty pop pleasures. Do you know how many girls / gay guys run to Vegas to escape their boy problems? Now they’ve got two songs to soundtrack their shenanigans to.
“Can’t Hold Us Down” is probably one of the most in-your-face singles Christina has ever released. The lyrics, nearly 20 years later, are still unfortunately very relevant.
And “Dirrty…” my God that song nearly CATAPULTED me out of the closet.
The Final Act
Nasty Naughty Boy Shut Up Slow Down Baby Beautiful Encore: Genie 2.0
“Nasty Naughty Boy” into “Shut Up” into “Slow Down Baby” is total whiplash. On “Nasty,” I picture Christina seducing a lucky male member of the audience. He’s definitely seated on a dark red, velvet chaise lounge chair while Christina and her backup dancers seduce him #StillDirrty. When she croons, “gimme a little spanking…” let’s just hope Team Xtina has NDAs at hand.
“Shut Up” is a polar opposite of “Nasty Naughty Boy,” because guys are stupid and they deserve to be cursed at after a lap dance. Then, “Slow Down Baby,” because… love makes no sense. The title is also a literal teaser of what’s to come as we near the end of The Xperience with “Beautiful.” Christina’s Grammy winning, critically-acclaimed self-love anthem will inspire the audience to whip out their smart phones, open the flashlight app and rock back & forth and cry uncontrollably. Could be the alcohol, but goddammit that song is really special.
I’m holding out for Legend X to pour some coin into the encore song, “Genie 2.0,” the synthtacular remix of “Genie In A Bottle,” featured on her greatest hits compilation. If X isn’t floating over the crowd in a glimmering gold genie bottle, singing the iconic tune with the sole mission to embed it in our brains before making our way out of the Zappos Theater, then I want my money back.