So I went to a Demi Lovato concert last week.
She is currently on her first world tour in support of her 2013 self-titled fourth studio album “Demi.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I attended the opening night of the tour on Sept. 9 in Baltimore.
Sure, I’ve listened to her heart-wrenching song “Skyscraper” a thousand times while getting over a dude, but other than that I would only consider myself a very casual listener of her music.
So going to see her perform was like going into the great unknown. Who will open for her? Who are her fans? Would it include elements from her former life as a Disney star?
It turned out to be an evening that included a very unique medley of supporting acts, several motivational speeches and thousands of teen girls. At 22 myself, the same age as Lovato, I’m fairly certain that I was among the oldest in the crowd.
The night started off with a performance by up-and-comers, MKTO. The pop/rap-ish duo consists of Tony Oller and Malcolm David Kelley, who are both former child actors like Lovato.
You may know their song, “Classic” which was definitely one of the songs of summer 2014. It has currently been listened to more than 83 million times on Spotify.
MKTO also seem to be a huge hit with teen girls. You should have heard the screams.
They were fun, energetic and did a great job of hyping up the crowd. They also were not afraid to show their gratitude – they ended their set with a song titled “Thank You.”
Next up was a speech from Spencer West, who is a double-amputee. This was a first for me – I have never been to concert with a motivational speaker. West told his story and then talked about hopes, dreams, bullying and giving back.
You may be thinking that it seems to be a little odd to have a motivational speaker open for a pop singer, especially right after an energetic performance from the boy group. But, it actually makes total sense.
Lovato’s music chronicles her own struggles with addiction and depression. There’s no doubt that her young female fans find inspiration and strength in her music, and look up to her. She got her fans to the concert – which is also a perfect time to inform them about issues like bullying, giving back and other’s people’s challenges.
West, the double amputee, has conquered mountains, literally, of his own, and his very visual disability got the fans interested in what he had to say.
Actually, I think it’s kind of genius and makes me love Lovato. She seems to truly want to do good and help her young fans.
Christina Perri performed after West’s speech. Perri has had a lot of success on her own and is the singer and songwriter of many familiar songs including “Human,” “Jar of Hearts” and “A Thousand Years.”
She drank a cup of coffee while she performed. I found her to be so charming and sweet. She also has an impressive voice. She was darling.
And then it was finally time for Demi Lovato.
She arrived by shooting up through a trapdoor in the middle of the stage. There were sexy backup dancers, hot topic esque outfits and even a Disney moment.
She started off with “Heart Attack” and then just went on from there with her hits including, “Really Don’t Care,” “Made in the USA” and “Nightingale.” One of my favorite moments was when she admitted to getting tired of singing the same songs every night. Preach girl. I would too.
Before her song, “Warrior” which is an ode to her recovery from addiction and depression, she dedicated the performance to Spencer West and gave a brief speech about giving back. It was nice. Lovato does have a truly beautiful voice.
And there was a brief throwback to her Disney days with a performance of some of her older songs and a performance of “Let it Go” from “Frozen.”
You know, I think the kids are onto something here. Sometimes you need something fun and cheesy. And that’s what pop music is about, it’s an escape from normal life. On that level Demi Lovato delivers.
The Demi Lovato World Tour, sponsored by Tampax and the Always Radiant Collection, runs through Oct. 27. Visit Lovato’s website for dates and ticket information.