On Saturday September 6th, Demi Lovato kicked off her first ever world tour in Baltimore. The doors to the arena opened at 6:30, and the show was set to begin at 7:30. For those who have been to a concert, you know that they rarely start on time but, to my surprise, the first opening act began nearly on time. MKTO, who are known for their song “Classic”, took the stage first, and brought amazing energy to the already booming arena. Directly after MKTO, an amazing gentlemen by the name of Spencer West took the stage. He started his speech with “My name is Spencer West, and I’m a warrior” and continued to quote lyrics from Demi Lovato’s song “Warrior”. Spencer is truly a warrior; he was born with a rare disorder which caused him to lose his legs, from his pelvis down, at the age of five. He has achieved major accomplishments, his most famous of which was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. He has also gone on service trips to Africa. For her 21st birthday, Demi Lovato took a trip to do service in Africa, which is where she and Spencer met. After Demi’s incredible experience, she partnered with a non-profit to design “Rafiki Bracelets” to sell, for which all of the proceeds go to the tribe who makes them. Spencer spent his time on stage talking about his experience and the wonderful opportunities the bracelets will provide to the tribe they visited in Africa, prompting people to head to the merchandise tables to check them out.
Next on the line-up was Christina Perri. I was immediately blown away with her vocal abilities. As a fan, I expected her to provide a great performance, but she exceeded expectations. She performed a variety of songs, including “Jar of Hearts”, “Arms”, “A Thousand Years”, and “Human” to name a few. She was able to connect with the audience as well boost excitement. As sad as the arena was to see her exit after her last song, the anticipation immediately began to rise for Demi. Then finally, the moment we had waited for; Demi took the stage. She opened with her newest single “Really Don’t Care”. She then proceeded to go directly into three more songs, one of which was her hit, “Heart Attack”. As she finally took a breath, she welcomed us all to the kickoff of her tour. She was admittedly a little nervous, and apologized for any mistakes. However, she carried on to perform both new and old songs, but this was not a pop show; she rocked out. Demi was doing her own style, and it was incredible. She visibly seemed to be having fun as she moved through her set list, which included “Nightingale”, “Fire Starter”, “Remember December”, and even an acoustic version of “Get Back”.
Although there were a few hiccups, Demi played them off like a pro. One of the highlights of the evening was right before she performed “Warrior”. She typically gives a speech about her past which most fans already are familiar with. For those who aren’t though, Demi is known to have suffered from eating disorder, cutting, addiction, and bi polar disorder – all of which landed her in rehab a couple years back. This show was different however – instead she stated, “I’ve told my story a million times, I don’t need to tell it a million and one,” then continued with, “This tour is not about my past, it is about moving on”. She then talked about her trip to Africa and what she learned about the definition of strength, which to her was exemplified by the mothers in the tribe she visited. She then gave a very heartfelt performance of “Warrior” which left her, and the rest of the crowd, a bit teary eyed. She played the piano during this performance, but she also showed off her skills on the drums and guitar. One of the most talked about moments of the evening, which is still being talked about on social media, was her cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. I was concerned at first, but Demi pulled it off and left the arena in awe; even after she put her own spin on it towards the end. Her last two songs were debatably her most popular, “Skyscraper” and “Give Your Heart a Break”. For Demi fans, there is noticeably one song missing from this impressive set. She came back out and performed the left-out anthem, “Neon Lights” as her encore. As the lights turned back on, it became evident there was no room for disappointment. Demi Lovato put on a rock show that amounted and exceeded her “Neon Lights” tour. She performed and connected to the audience in a fashion that only she could pull off.