Demi Lovato is not a pop princess. She is fierce, intense, vibrant, and knows exactly how to dominate a stage. Demi Lovato is a rock queen.
Opening her show with a Maori tribe performing a traditional haka, the audience were sitting sweetly in the palm of her hand before the American powerhouse even hit the stage. Followed by her band warming up and images flashing on the screen behind them, there was electricity in the air as Lovato burst right into her hit ‘Really Don’t Care’. Strutting confidently around the stage, it was clear to see just why Demi Lovato has become such a role model for all the young girls desperately wanting to get closer to her. I must admit, I have never seen a crowd so eager and so many distraught fans pulled out a most pit before the lights had even dimmed.
Demanding every inch of attention from her audience, the songstress worked the crowd like only a true professional knows how. Being her first show in New Zealand, Lovato was sure to throw in some old school favourites such as Remember December, Catch Me and a I’m-so-sick-of-singing-this-I-had-to-mix-it-up-a-little rendition of Get Back, while also powering through some of her more recent hits such as Heart Attack, Frozen’s Let It Go and Give Your Heart A Break.
By far the biggest highlight of the night came when Lovato dedicated her song ‘Warrior’ to Bruce Jenner, who had just the night before announced himself as transgender. As she launched into a speech of praise and admiration for the former Olympic athlete, “whether you agree with it or not, he probably saved so many lives and educated so many people”, the place erupted into cheers as she branded the reality star “an even bigger hero” than he was before. Also taking the time to speak about her time in Africa, clips from her trip played as she belted out the empowering anthem. The dedications didn’t end there, as she directed her spine-tingling ballad Nightingale towards her assistant Caroline, who has recently lost her grandmother and “anybody else out there who has a guardian angel.” The arena also lit up, as she sung My Love Is Like A Star for “all my little stars out there.”
Treasured by her fans as one of her most heartfelt and inspiring songs, Skyscraper proved to be a particular high point of the night. With her hauntingly beautiful, every word echoed through the arena as the audience watched in awe of this young woman baring her soul.
Demi Lovato lays her heart on the line when she sings. That is no surprise, given her very public personal struggles. There is a rawness and beauty in her voice that is rare to find. Its difficult to look at Demi and remember her as the young girl that was introduced to the world back in 2008. We have watched her grow from a Disney darling to an absolute powerhouse. Let me tell you, her high notes are force to be reckoned with.
Once again paying tribute to the native Maori culture, Lovato returned for the encore of Neon Lights wearing a traditional korowai, which had been gifted to her before the show. It is unclear as to who was more appreciative to be there; her ‘kiwi lovatics’ who had been craving for her to make an appearance on our shores, or Demi herself, who admitted her gratitude at being able to travel to New Zealand and actually have fans here who know her music.
There is no doubt that Demi Lovato has an unmatchable voice. There is no doubt that absolutely every single person in Vector Arena fell in love with her last night. She owned every single moment. She stood on that stage and made her mark, and I’ll be first in line to see her do it again.