By Tim Stack
Updated August 25, 2009 at 10:20 PM EDT

Last night, I had the extreme pleasure of witnessing the rebirth of a pop icon, Britney Spears. The singer performed her first of three nights at Madison Square Garden in New York for her “Circus” tour, and the energy was amazing (plus opening act Jordin Sparks was utter fabulosity).

EW’s music critic Leah Greenblatt caught the show back in March in Newark and had more lukewarm feelings. The amount of actual singing that took place was definitely questionable but for me, it didn’t really matter. Britney’s more of a performer than a great singer (I do have to agree with Leah’s assessment that Brit hardly addressed the audience. Come on, girl—talk to your fans!).

My fave moments were an acrobatic take on “Touch of My Hand,” in which she was lifted into the air by two men, harnessed together. Insanely hot. But the finale took the cake. Spears performed her first huge hit, “…Baby One More Time,” clad in stiletto boots and skintight red pants. It almost brought a tear to my eye. Or at least some solid misting. Take a look below and see what I mean.

What do you think Music Mix-ers? Is Britney back? Will you go see the “Circus” tour?

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