In just 22 years Demi Lovato has lived a life that has brought her great musical success, heartbreak and struggle, and most recently a triumphant return to the top of her genre. Her “Demi World Tour” that stopped at the Hershey Giant Center this past Friday shows just how much effort Demi Lovato has put into getting her career back on track and she did so fantastically. By the time she hit the stage well past 9PM the nearly sold out arena had already been treated to performances from MKTO, Bea Miller and Christina Perri; as well as a great motivational speech from Spencer West just before her performance. As a tour package it was certainly one of the more unique ones to come to the area this year but all the same it could go down as one of the most organic and well packaged tours.
The lights flickered off in the arena awhile after Spencer West’s speech and when they flashed back on it was for what everyone was waiting for, the arrival of Demi Lovato. A lengthy intro built around the rocky speech preluded her arrival to the stage, the arena became washed in a sea of purple light as Demi Lovato rose from the walkway portion of the stage and screamed hello to the Hershey crowd as she began singing the opening to “Really Don’t Care.” A little bit into the song Lovato stopped singing to making a dramatic walk down her runway before running back down with all of her dances with her middle finger in the air; a perfect start to the evening and a beautiful metaphor for those who still focus on her struggles rather than her return to form.
By the middle of the set Lovato had belted out 10 songs with almost 10 more to go, she soon took the time to remember her roots talking to the crowd about how one of her first shows was right in Hershey. The story was well delivered and a heartfelt moment that the audience was able to share with Lovato because it is safe to say that some of those 100 people who came out to that first show were there in the crowd that evening. The night was full of audience participation during the songs and whenever the chance arose the arena was filled with high pitches screams that were almost painful to the ear due to the sheer volume of people.
Vocally, Demi Lovato was very much on point and her stage show did a lot to compliment her on stage. Having seen some videos from her tours earlier this year and some live performances on TV I can safely say that this is the best shape she has been in recently and that extra physical fitness allows her to deliver such a full set with ease and not really have to struggle while delivering her vocals. At times her stage set up and production became a tad overwhelming and she became lost in the sea of dancers, screens and lights but her voice always remained clear even in this moments of visual confusion so it didn’t really become an issue to the performance. The highlightsof her set was certainly the performance of “Let it Go” which was sung by nearly every person in the venue creating a near deafening but beautiful version of the song. Lovato’s choice to cover Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was also a well received song by the crowd and a bold choice in my opinion. She took the chance to debut a Piano Solo to the Hershey crowd which was a fantastic nod to her roots there and the crowd seemed to very much enjoy the performance despite the fact they were unfamiliar with it. Her setlist for the Hershey show was as follows :
Really Don’t Care
My Love Is Like a Star
Here We Go Again
Let It Go
Demi Piano Solo
Give Your Heart a Break
Her 19 song setlist spanned her entire career and still managed to continue a fair amount of tracks of her most recent album, “Demi.” There is no doubt that every Demi Lovato fan left the Hershey Giant Center feeling satisfied with the performance that night and those feelings were well placed. So many would have crumbled and fallen off with the struggles Demi Lovato has faced but to embrace them and come back with a strong album to tour on says a lot about her as an artist. Demi Lovato truly is the Warrior she claims to be and her fans are right to look up to her for being so strong because this world needs a little bit more hope in it.