Selena Gomez Delivered a Mature Set That Her Audience Wasn't Ready For
Orange County got their second taste of pop star Selena Gomez Saturday night at Honda Center. As a long time fan of Gomez’s, I couldn’t get to the concert fast enough to catch the latest stop on her “Revival Tour.” The fact that the performance was a stone’s throw from Disneyland took on extra significance for the pop star since her album for which the tour was named marks her first big musical step out of Disney’s shadow.
The stadium was jammed packed with teenagers—not surprising as someone who’s already Gomez four times in concert. My first time was in 2010, when some of these current teen fans were only ten-years old.
Aside from all the teenage girls at the show, it was good to see a few fans that were over the age of 18. This shows that Gomez’s fan base is growing attracting more millennials as her new music matures with songs like “Good For You.”
When I finally took my seat, after a beer run, Bea Miller just finished her set and Charlie Puth was setting up for his set. The section I was sitting was made up of two rows with four seats each, nosebleeds. Luckily my friend and I sat with a lively couple, three drinks in and shouting, “Where is Selena?!” throughout Charlie Puth’s entire set.
I became even more anxious for Gomez to take the stage. Thinking that my neighbors and I were going to have the time of our lives jumping and dancing to Gomez’s set, but when she finally took the stage in her all-black ensemble, it seemed like I was the only one in our section who 1) didn’t have their phone glued to the stage and 2) was standing jumping with joy.
A cell phone pointed at the stage is an annoying tactic that seems to occur at every concert nowadays, with Gomez’s show being no exception.
The amount of fans sitting down and staring at the singer during her set implied that the audience still isn’t familiar with all her work. Looking around the stadium, that was basically the crowds position majority of the show with the exception of when Gomez performed her hits like “Come and Get It” and “Hands to Myself.”
It is confusing to see this at Gomez’s shows since her performance was far from terrible and Saturday night was no difference.
From the time she stepped on stage you could feel Gomez’s love and determination to make her last show of the U.S. leg of the tour her best. There just seems to be a lack of connection between her and her audience.
Her fan base may still be too young to thoroughly understand the “post-breakup” songs that Gomez is accustomed to singing, thus there is no personal relationship between the singer and her fans. Although her young fanbase obviously loves her song “Love You Like a Love Song,” despite the fact that it’s really not one of her strongest songs.
This could be the reason why Gomez stuck to her hit singles, which took up half her set. By starting off with all her hits, the second half of her performance could have seemed a bit of a dud for the “fans” who only know her radio hits.
After burning through the big songs so early, it left me wondering what songs she could possibly close with since the obvious songs had already been performed.
Turns out Gomez had an interesting trick up her sleeve. At the start of her last act a long remixed introduction led Gomez into covering the song that was none other than “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by the Eurythmics?
Although I freaked out as soon as I heard her sing the first line of the synth-laden 1983 song, I wondered if anyone besides the parents and a few 20-year-olds in the crowd actually knew the flashback hit Gomez was singing.
After, she went onto performing her newest single “Kill Em With Kindness” and following that she sang “I Want You to Know,” a song she sang on record producer Zedd’s 2015 album “True Colors.” Unfortunately, the producer was noticeably absent during the performance.
Gomez ended her show with continuing her remix of “Revival” that she had opened the show with. The song was an excellent reminder to her audience and any online spectators that she has been to hell and back, as she put it “this is my revival.” It was heartening considering all the effort she put into her performance. Hopefully the crowd is a bit more revived by her new image next time she comes to town.
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