The opening night of Britney Spears' “crucial Circus tour” Tuesday, said Jim Farber in the New York Daily News, “nudged” the “long-troubled singer a firm step further on the road back from major fruitcake to reborn pop star.” At the New Orleans Arena, “Spears dutifully hit her marks, kept up a robust pace, and looked determined and engaged.” (Watch Spears onstage in New Orleans)

“Don't call it a comeback quite yet,” said Chuck Arnold in People. “While she avoided the train wreck that was her 2007 MTV Video Music Awards appearance,” Spears was “visibly nervous” and “hardly engaged the audience.” And at the end of the 90-minute concert, “she seemed more relieved than anything that it was all over.”

There were “plenty of highlights” worth remembering, said James Montgomery in In her first tour in five years, Spears looked great in her myriad outfits, and “she can still move with the best of them.” But she seemed “dwarfed by the spectacle,” and “almost lost in the sheer hugeness of the production around her.”