Selena Gomez: Concert review

Selena Gomez: Concert review
Gomez, dressed like an haute-couture genie, danced and gyrated her way through the evening at the ACC. She even sang — if you could hear her.

By: Nick Krewen Music, Published on Sun Aug 25 2013

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2013/08/25/selena_gomez_concert_review.html
Selena Gomez
2.5 stars
Air Canada Centre. Aug. 24, 2013
Seen, yet barely heard.
Selena Gomez may have ditched her old faceless band The Scene for a groovier, more dance-friendly vibe, but at her appearance Saturday at the Air Canada Centre it didn’t really matter: her new instrumental backers drowned her out for a good portion of her 80-minute set.
Perhaps some of the estimated 11,000 fans who were situated towards the S-shaped ramped stage that extended about eight rows into the crowd heard the music more clearly. But for those of us on the sides, the 21-year-old Disney ingénue doesn’t possess a powerful enough voice to cut through the volume.
So right off the bat, after a thematic video sequence that found the charisma-free Gomez sleeping on a map of the stars and then entering a dream sequence in which she had to choose to walk through a number of white doors (no, none of them led to former — or is he still current? — squeeze Justin Bieber, in case you were wondering), she launched into “Bang Bang Bang” and “Round & Round” and her singing was muffled.
Not that it seemed to matter to her fans, who seemed evenly split between 6-year-old girls engaged in hero worship, tween-aged girls who’ve followed the Texas-born Gomez since her TV show days of Wizards of Waverly Place, and well-intentioned parents chaperoning the first two age groups.
They knew all the songs and mouthed the words as a midriff-baring Gomez, dressed something like an haute-couture genie, danced, jumped and gyrated her way through the evening, accompanied by a troupe of eight.
Sometimes the routines were unintentionally hilarious. For example, during “Write Your Name,” Gomez’s eight hoofers grabbed pink wands and performed what could be interpreted as a crazy aircraft marshalling dance before collectively using the wands to visually piece together a heart. One could imagine the calamity that would ensue if they were on an actual tarmac directing planes.
As for Gomez’s sound, it was only about halfway in — during a couple of acoustic renderings of “Love Will Remember,” and “Dream/Royals” — that the band toned down enough for her singing to shine through.
Personally, I’m still not sure what the fuss is all about. Gomez isn’t a particularly distinctive singer, and tunes like “Love You like A Love Song” or “Whiplash” are as homogenous as they come. Gomez’s concert Stars Dance presentation — a set featuring a giant staircase, aping this year’s earlier Taylor Swift tour, plus a handful of costume changes, video and choreography — was passable but would only be impressionable for the younger worshippers who had perhaps never attended a concert before.
But Canada has always been kind and supportive to Gomez, attracted perhaps by her genuine earthiness. As well, the messages she imparts — believe in yourself, don’t change for anyone, trust your own decisions — are worthy of any role model wishing to make a good impression.
They’ve bought her records, attended her concerts and — now that she’s declared a moratorium on albums while she concentrates on the silver screen for a while — will probably go to see her movies.
So maybe Stars Dance was the warm-up to more unique musical promise down the road, although one shouldn’t hold one’s breath.
At the very least, this final concert hurrah for a while should give Selena Gomez fans a chance to mature and slide into sync with a woman who clearly wants to move into a more adult arena in terms of image and content — as well as give time for the sound guy to iron out all the kinks.

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