Just when we thought we knew everything about Rihanna, she goes and pulls the rug out from underneath our feet.

In a year of blockbuster releases, one of the world’s biggest pop stars made a statement of her own with her eighth album. Textured, experimental and relatively banger-less, Anti challenged everything we'd come to expect from Robyn Rihanna Fenty. 

Tonight the singer is clearly in the mood to mix things up a little more, and dressed like some kind of high-fashion Jedi, she opens with two tearjerkers; "Stay" and "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)". It’s a surprisingly understated entrance for someone who kicked off a recent awards ceremony performance by leaping out a helicopter in green, PVC thigh-high boots.

After that the curveballs just keep coming, but for all their sass and swag, not all of them hit their mark. The new Anti tracks: cold, hyper-sexed beats of "Desperado", and clinical electro-clash of "Woo" sound muscular and bold. "Sex With Me" sees her cavort on a glass bridge above the crowd, while acid-fried visuals turn her Tame Impala cover "Same Ol’ Mistakes" into a proper moment. It’s certainly her most interesting material to date. In comparison, Rihanna seasons the set with her huge collection of stadium-sized hits almost like they’re an afterthought.

The golden hooks of "Live Your Life", "Man Down"'s dancehall-carnival waltz and explicit smut of "Rude Boy" are given only a perfunctory glance, played for only a few moments before moving on. The glorious "Umbrella" is reduced even further: to one verse and chorus. The pace is breathless but it all feels a little unsatisfying.

Highlight "Diamonds" is one of the only songs given the full length treatment, not to mention one of the few instances Rihanna actually sings – really sings. Too much of her show is dependent on backing singers and tracks, unnecessary when you consider Anti boasted some of her best vocal performances to date.  

But Ri Ri is a superstar for a reason. Wembley is only about 75% full tonight and the fans here have paid £100 plus each to watch an 80 minute set that pretty much shrugs off the hits. Yet they adore her anyway.

“I gotta do things my own way darling” purrs a choppy ‘Consideration’ - and that sums Rihanna up perfectly. Unpredictable, brave and determined to do whatever the hell she wants. OK, maybe we did have it right about her all along.