On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending Demi Lovato's Neon Lights Tour at Nassau Colesium. I've been a fan of hers myself since Camp Rock premiered and it was a thrill to finally get the chance to experience her perform live.
I remember it was my sophomore year of high school, the week of my birthday, when she released her first album. My friend had mentioned it at one point and I hinted that my birthday was coming up with hopes she'd get the hint. She did. The entire week after, I listened to that album on the bus ride on the way to school every single day. Now every time I listen to it I hear the tune of the next song in my head before it starts playing.
That was in 2008. Six years later and Demi and her music are still a part of my life. She's still inspiring me with everything she does, from singing, to acting, to being a judge on the X Factor. She was one of the artists, along with Taylor Swift, who helped me find my music taste.
It’s funny because I always forget the affect experiencing live music has on me until the moment it happens again. Her opening acts were Fifth Harmony and Little Mix. I’m not a huge fan of either of them but I enjoyed watching them perform live. Fifth Harmony’s presentation was well done and I really enjoyed their entrance to the stage. The anticipation of the set design lifting up and revealing the girls added to the buildup of the already energized crowd. I had a little familiarity with their music so I swayed along and got some good shots of them being their adorable selves. Next was Little Mix, whose music I proceeded to download the next day. Both openers were well received, having gained recognition from the X Factor US/UK. I was very impressed with the intensity and overall solid performance by Little Mix. To be quite honest, from the moment they walked on stage and busted out in some hard core dance numbers, all I could think was the fact that I wanted to know their work out routine. Not only were they singing catchy, girl empowered tunes, but showing off their moves as well. I’m also a huge sucker for accents, so every time they talked to the crowd I had to sustain a giggle of pleasure. Their stage presence was also working well for them, as well as their connection with the crowd, which encouraged me to become a fan myself.
After the openers it was about a 20 minute wait for Demi, and I was calm during that time. I didn’t necessarily comprehend, at that point, that I was seeing Demi in a matter of minutes. It wasn’t until the lights went out, the music started playing, the crowd went insane, and the curtain revealed Demi that I realized what was happening. After years of buying her singles, waiting for the next album to be released, and praying for her to come to a healthy place, mentally and physically, I was seeing her perform right before my eyes. In the middle of the first song, Heart Attack, I suddenly became overwhelmed with the joy of the moment. It was happening. Experiencing live music, from someone that you’ve come to love and respect as both an artist and a person, is a surreal experience. It brings you back to all those times you spent sitting in your room falling in love with album for the first time, or times you had the windows rolled down and you jammed along without a care in the world. To be in the same room as the person who, through their music, has brought such happy memories into your life is something everyone needs to experience at some point.
Demi Lovato is a performer like no other. She puts her all into creating an album that encapsulates her life, one that can be there for her listeners, and she effortlessly portrays that through her performances. When she sang an upbeat song, like Dynamite or Really Don’t Care, you could find her jumping around on stage and encouraging the audience to sing along. In the slower ones like Catch Me and Nightingale, you could see her feeling the emotions she felt at the time in her life that the song relates to. She’s not one to hold back anything back from her fans. Before Nightingale she made a heartfelt speech about the death of her father and during the song she didn't stop the emotions from coming to her, letting the tears fall. I think, anyone that wasn't a fan before, who attended the concert that night, has gained a lot of respect for Ms. Lovato. Considering the fact that she’s a former Disney star Demi is very underrated as an artist, in my opinion. She has a powerhouse voice, and the way in which she uses her past struggles to inspire and encourage young people is incredible. I’d say my favorite part of the show was when she approached the topic of self-harm and how important it is that people talk about it. I love how open she is about everything and how desperately she wants people to know they can make it through. I also appreciated the fact that she brought up issues happening in the world. She understands the influence she has on young people, and she uses her voice to help open the eyes of a generation consumed by social media, usually unaware of real world issues. The world needs more genuine, caring, resourceful people like Demi.
Although I’ve been a fan of Demi’s for quite some time now I’ve gained more admiration and respect for her than I thought possible. Even if you’re not a fan I encourage you, if you ever get the chance, to see Demi in concert. It will be well worth your time and money.
Never forget the essence of your spark!