WATCH: Miley Cyrus Takes a Toke, Talks About Living in Philly at Electric Factory Show

Plus: Photos from her rollicking psychedelic rock party Saturday with the Flaming Lips.

Photo by Darco Lalevic

Photo by Darco Lalevic

Someone once told me that a movie only has to be worth the price of one ticket — regardless of whether it cost $50 million to make or $5,000. So was the Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz show worth the $69.69 ticket? By the response of the sold-out crowd, many wearing full-body animal onesies at Electric Factory on Saturday night, that answer would be an emphatic: “Hell yeah!” Cyrus has been getting some heat about this indie project for it being self-indulgent and too eccentric, but I can’t imagine anyone left that show feeling cheated out of a night of entertainment. The evening was like one of Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstoppers — a continually permutating theater of nutty costumes, colorful LED screens, shimmering confetti, fog cannons, balloons and lots of adult chatter and themes all united by Cyrus’s powerful, beautiful voice.

It’s an interesting passion project for the 23-year-old singer, whose former Disney identity as Hannah Montana is a skin she shed four albums back with no regrets. Cyrus announced during the MTV Video Music Awards this past August that she had a surprise new album and that it could be downloaded for free immediately. Under contract with RCA Records, she put a lot of heart into the side project, which she financed herself for about $50,000. Made in collaboration with veteran eccentric indie rockers, The Flaming Lips, the album features 23 tracks almost all of which she and the Lips performed during a two-hour set Saturday night.

Some critics have called the album’s content too eccentric, too druggy, vulgar and not radio friendly. Who cares? How great is it that Cyrus, clearly a creative soul impatient for freedom, gets to call the shots, explore ideas, write heartfelt eulogies to her dead blowfish Pablow, sing about her current infatuation with weed and proclaim her ripe sexuality and her enthusiasm to seek new experiences. Granted, some of her ideas come off with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a millennial who’s so excited to tell you about a musician she’s discovered and you realize she’s raving about a legend like Iggy Pop or Grace Jones.

Her Milky Milky Milk Tour only has six stops and has avoided the big stadiums in favor of more intimate concert halls. Cyrus has an unforced enveloping charisma and naturalness that set the night’s mood for larky, goofball fun. She wore sun costumes, moon costumes, big baby costumes. She was a slab of butter. She dressed up like a human disco ball. She wore wigs, skimpy outfits, cumbersome ones. She was up for anything and even appeared to light up a joint on stage for her popular number, “Lighter,” which she sang alongside of one of her backup dancers who was dressed as a giant hand holding a lighter.

At a previous show in Philadelphia, Cyrus told fans that she “got clarity about being herself” while living here during the summer of 2012. She says she got the idea to cut off her long mane of hair that summer and began the unveiling of her true self that has drawn so much attention and notoriety her way. During “We Can’t Stop,” her closing song of the night from her last album Bangerz, she sang the words “It’s my mouth I can say what I want to … ” along with most of the crowd. It looks like she’s continuing fearlessly to do and say just what she wants to and the fans on Saturday night couldn’t have been happier. Check out (NSFW!) video of her final performance below.

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