Selena Gomez in Hamilton: Review and Reflection

October 31, 2011 at 4:02 am (Uncategorized)

I almost titled this post after the “Being a Dad” series. Instead, I went with a title that might get me some traffic.

Yup, I took my daughter to her first real concert (I’m not counting the Wiggles). We went to see Disney pop-idol Selena Gomez and the Scene at Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum.

Earlier this year, my 11-year old daughter mentioned that Selena Gomez of Wizards of Waverly Place was playing a show in Toronto and did I think she could go. Like any good parent, I checked, but since the concert was the following week, tickets were, well, impossible to get. Never mind, I promised that should Ms. Gomez return, I would get tickets. Hardly were the words out of my mouth, when the Hamilton date was announced.

And so here we were in Steeltown for the show. Plenty of mums and dads here too. And plenty of Selena fans. And they were young. My daughter, in fact, was in the upper age bracket. So, this was going to be interesting.

Opening act was 17-year-old Christina Grimmie who took the stage at the stroke of 7:00.  Grimmie played an energetic 20 minute set  of covers and a couple of her own songs, but the problem was that it was just her on stage. No band, only a small keyboard, and taped music to sing along to. A strong voice, but in a venue that size, at times it came across as upscale karaoke. A slow build to Selena.

After a short pause, Shawn Desman took the stage. Like Grimmie, there was no band to speak of, and even the backing vocals were pre-recorded, but Desman put on more of a show. He strode across the stage, sometimes accompanied by dancers, and tried to engage the audience. Like Grimmie, it wasn’t my thing, but hey, the audience seemed to like it.

My kid however, like much of the audience, was there for Selena. Selena Gomez, like her friend Demi Lovato, got her start on Barney, but as far as I know, it was as teen-wizard Alex Russo on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place that she got her big break. Yeah, I’ve watched it, and it’s not the worst show on Disney. But to be a star on Disney now, it seems as if you must be able to act (a bit), but also to sing and to dance. That way the House of Mouse can extend your career. Whether or not Selena Gomez will have an acting career reamins to be seen, but muscially, she might have a bit more luck. She’s got her audience.

Gomez  took the stage to mass hysteria at 8:25. She played for a little over an hour, and breezed through the hits and four costume changes. And damn, if it wasn’t a competent performance. No, no, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a convert, but when you look at your kid and she’s wearing this smile that pushes her ears back, it’s hard not to share in that moment

Here’s some grimy video (not shot by me), but you can search You Tube for more.

Sure, sure, some of it was a bit sappy and contrived, and the Britney Spears tribute struck me as odd (I ‘m so old I didn’t recognize the Nicki Minaj song), but I have to say I though “We Own the Night” was a great song.It builds beautifully and Gomez’s delivery was on-target. An interesting experience to say the least.

Set list (courtesy of Wikipedia)

“A Year Without Rain””
“Hit the Lights”
“Summer’s Not Hot”
“Round & Round”
“The Way I Loved You”
“We Own the Night”
“Love You Like a Love Song”
“Bang Bang Bang”
“When the Sun Goes Down”
“Falling Down”
“Super Bass”
“6 Foot 7 Foot” (Instrumental Interlude)
“Rock God”
“Middle of Nowhere”
“My Dilemma”
“Off the Chain”
Medley: (contains elements of the “Chris Cox Megamix”)

..Baby One More Time”
“(You Drive Me) Crazy”
“I’m A Slave 4 U”
“Oops!… I Did It Again”
“Hold It Against Me”

“Tell Me Something I Don’t Know”


“Who Says”

Oh, and here’s that song I like:

There, and I didn’t even mention Selena’s Canadian beau.


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