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July 24, 2011
First things first: It took 40 minutes to drive five miles through Costa Mesa, which can only mean something big was going down at the OC Fairgrounds. Yes, the OC Fair brings its share of a-holes on the road surrounding the venue, but tonight it was extra packed. Why so packed? Well, every parent in Orange County was driving their giddy teen to catch a glimpse of Disney cutie Selena Gomez.
Selena Gomez hit the music scene after gaining popularity from her hit TV show Wizards of Waverly Place. Based the crowd at the Pacific Amphitheatre, she's hugely popular. The place was PACKED! Teens with “I HEART YOU
SELENA” posters and homemade T-shirt expressions of devotion
surrounded me. Moms with their daughters, packs of teenage girls
and random boys texting throughout the show filled the crowd.
Selena's set list was long and her fans sang along to every song
while standing on their chairs. It was adorable, really. Even the parents
were dancing while watching their daughters and snapping pictures of
them at “their first concert.” (I suspect.) Selena must have flipped her
hair a thousand times and her frequent stomach touching made me think of
calling TMZ to start rumors. (Kidding.) To be honest, Selena really was
impressive. Holding her bedazzled microphone, flashing that smile, and
waving to everyone…the crowd ate it up.
After about 13 songs (and a little girl falling on me; see
below) Selena introduced her band the Scene. She and the group have pretty special chemistry. The background singers were amazing; so was the sporadic rapping from the
band and some extra rapping by Selena. (Okay, I'm kidding. The rapping was
unnecessary and pretty terrible but–to each his own.)
After a few more songs came the moment that you probably heard, no matter where you were last night. The shrill screams of
teenagers' hearts bursting in unison escalated when Selena introduced her “friend”
Justin Bieber. They embraced, and then Justin stole every prepubescent
heart (plus parents) doing a cover of Justin Timberlake's “Cry Me a River.”
In all, I was truly surprised by the range of Selena's voice and her
ability to sing live, unlike some other “artists” these days. She loved
the crowd and the crowd loved her right back. This concert was a
complete sell-out and the audience was more than appreciative to be in
the outdoor venue under the stars while looking at their favorite star.
Critic's Bias: I am too old for this shit. Where are the margaritas?
The Crowd: The crowd was packed with every screaming teenager in
Orange County. I suspect some of LA County's teens made it out too.
Their moms were there as well of course…and some creepy old dudes.
Overheard in the Crowd:
“AHHHHHHHHHH! SELENA!!! I LOVE YOU SELENA.”
“OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU SELENA!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”
“OMG Justin Bieber is soooo sexy!! Hey, I'm 17 so I can say that. It's not like I'm a pedophile!”
“Selena actually isn't that bad. I kind of liked that song. Kind of.”
“There are a lot of creepy old guys here!”
Random notebook dump: True story. A little girl in front of me seriously
fell out of her seat backwards and landed on me! Coincidentally, it was
during a song called, “Falling Down.” You can't make this stuff up!
A Year Without Rain
Hit the Lights
Summers Not Hot
Round & Round
The Way I Loved You
We Own the Night
Love You Like a Love Song
When the Sun Goes Down
Bang a Drum
Off the Chain
Tell Me Something I Don't Know