Posted by Sean Stangland on Tue, 07/28/2009 – 17:27
Whenever you see a rock concert in a movie, the entire place is going absolutely nuts the entire time. The screaming never stops, everyone’s jumping up and down, and all the performers on stage are running all over the place, putting on the most energetic show imaginable.
That’s more or less what happened Friday night at the Demi Lovato concert.
Yes, frequent commenter Sean T and I — two single, 30-year-old men — attended the Allstate Arena show, unaccompanied, because we think the young Miss Lovato is the real deal. Scooped up by the Disney machine and given a starring role in the cable movie “Camp Rock,” Lovato is the Mouse House’s next big thing. As she demonstrated Friday, she can play the piano and the guitar, and can actually sing. She had a hand in writing most of the songs on her two albums, and has lots of enthusiasm on stage.
That last part is really important. How often do we shell out exorbitant ticket prices to see bands that don’t even look like they’re having a good time? Demi Lovato is clearly having the time of her life — she’s only 16 and is touring the country, playing to throngs of screaming fans.
And boy, did they scream. My ears have been assaulted at numerous concerts over the years, but it’s usually deep bass or piercing guitars doing the damage. Thousands of screaming teenage girls do damage on a totally different frequency, damage that wasn’t apparent right after the concert ended. Hours later, everything sounded like it was underwater; thankfully, I found no blood on my pillow the next morning.
Disney spared no expense on the tour, which also features “Idol” finalist David Archuleta and teen pop singer Jordan Pruitt. Lovato and her seven-piece band roamed a two-story stage adorned with three giant video displays, and two more screens were placed in the rafters. The sound, which is notoriously echoey (that’s a real word, I just looked it up) in the Allstate Arena, was astonishing. Every word she spoke or sang was clear as a bell. I’d like to give the arena the benefit of the doubt and say they’ve stepped up their acoustics, but my money’s on Disney’s production value.
For sure, many in the audience were seeing their very first concert, and Demi made sure they all got the full rock-show experience. She turned the chorus of “U Got Nothin’ On Me” into a left-side/right-side singalong before delivering the full song in its anthemic glory. She also raised parents’ eyebrows with her choice for a cover song: Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” She admitted she wouldn’t do it justice (although she sang it just fine), but perhaps the implications of the song’s lyrics are a bit much for a teen and pre-teen crowd. That being said, I think most parents would be less concerned about Lovato’s song choice than they would be with, say, some of Miley Cyrus’s on-stage outfits.
Lovato saved the best for last: A two-song encore featuring her first album’s two big hits. “Don’t Forget” begins as a spare, tearful melody, but a guitar crash turns it into a battle cry. “Get Back,” the single that announced her to the world last summer, sounds a little too much like Hannah Montana in a brunette wig, but Lovato made it work as a rousing finale.
One young attendee got the memory of a lifetime (assuming she wasn’t a plant). Lovato pulled a girl who couldn’t have been more than 5 years old on stage to help sing “This Is Me,” her “Camp Rock” duet with Joe Jonas.
That was probably the part of the show where I felt most out of place. But though I’m nowhere near Demi Lovato’s target demographic, I cannot deny my affection for bigger-than-life pop music with catchy hooks. I have no illusions about how Lovato’s career began — she is a commercially engineered success story, a fact hammered home by the Disney Channel commercials that played in between sets Friday — but I am very excited about where her career may go.
Source: Daily Herald