Last night's rain washed the most famous parasol-wielding pop star of them all (sorry, Fonzworth Bentley!) into the Highline Ballroom for a small group of fans last night. The show, a benefit for local foundation DKMS and Rihanna's Believe Foundation, was part of a sweepstakes for tweens and featured as guests of honor some seriously cute kiddies rocking fedoras and waving delightedly from their wheelchairs. We felt like honored winners ourselves as Rihanna, flanked by bodacious backup singers, soaked up the low roar of the crowd and began gyrating, grabbing at her chest, and air-guitaring next to her bassist (air bass was perhaps too much to hope for). She also waved her a bejeweled microphone up at the balcony, where we spotted, up among the fedora cuties, Mr. Chris Brown, whose new tattoo (if he has one) was not in evidence. The evening's frenzy slowed only when the lights dimmed and a spotlight set upon Rihanna, who delivered the opening verse of “Unfaithful” with such earnest emotion that we wished we had evil cheating ways to renounce. Hundreds of cell phones lit up throughout the audience. The kids turned their focus from the stage to screens trained upon it, and were gently shielded from the emotional outpouring as if by tiny, glowing umbrellas. —Lauren Salazar
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