Demi Lovato: Conquers Baltimore Arena, ready for the world - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Demi Lovato: Conquers Baltimore Arena, ready for the world

Demi Lovato’s performance at the Baltimore Arena marked more than just the beginning of her “Demi World Tour” that will take her to 19 states and eight countries.

It was the dawning of her adult career.

She’s no longer the child America met when she was on the children’s show “Barney & Friends,” and she’s no longer the teenager America fell in love with as the star of the Disney hit “Camp Rock” in 2008.

Now, she looks every bit of a stunning 22 year-old who has ascended to stardom after rising from her battles with drugs and alcohol, bulimia, depression and bipolar disorder that once grounded her career.

“This tour is not about my past,” she told the crowd. “I’ve told my story a million times. I don’t need to tell it a million-and-one times.”

Dressed in a shiny, cleavage-friendly black corset that complemented her black, tight-fitting pants, Lovato turned the crowd into her chorus, which was especially effective during “Let It Go,” the hit song from the movie “Frozen.”

Demi Lovato didn't look - or dance - like this when she was on "Barney & Friends" as a child. (Jon Gallo)

Demi Lovato didn’t look – or dance – like this when she was on “Barney & Friends” as a child. (Jon Gallo)

Lovato, who has been touring since she was 15, has completed ditched the Disney princess image that birthed her career. She dropped two f-bombs and shook her curvy body seductively throughout the night, including during her cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Lovato’s first world tour, she told the crowd, “isn’t about the past.”

“My show is very different than your typical pop star out there,” she said a few days before the tour’s launch. “I don’t rely on a bunch of gimmicks to entertain people. My performance is about the connection with the audience and actual music.”

And connect she did –  making the pro-girl power crowd happy as she belted out the staples of her four albums, including “Really Don’t Care,” “Warrior,” “Skyscraper,” “Give Your Heart a Break” and “Heart Attack,” the latter from last year’s album, “Demi.”

Lovato’s music is a diary, her songs telling the story of a life in which she’s overcome cocaine addiction and depression to evolve from a Disney diva to a pop queen who has more than 22 million Twitter followers and more than 33 million Facebook fans.

Demi Lovato whipped the Baltimore Arena crowd into a frenzy with hit songs "Hear Attack," "Really Don't Care" and "Let It Go." (Jon Gallo)

Demi Lovato whipped the Baltimore Arena crowd into a frenzy with hit songs “Hear Attack,” “Really Don’t Care” and “Let It Go.” (Jon Gallo)

“My albums are like scrapbooks to certain periods of my life,” she said. “This last album was representing a time in my life where I was getting more comfortable with my artistry, my music and just having more fun.”

But Lovato and the crowd weren’t the only ones smiling on Saturday night. Somewhere, Baltimore Arena General Manager Frank Remesch had to be cracking a grin, as the Baltimore Arena continued to establish itself as a top-tier venue under his watch.

What’s happening at the Baltimore Arena simply can’t keep going unnoticed. For years, the talk around town has been about burying the 51-year-old relic on the corner of Baltimore Street and Hopkins Place and replacing it with a new one that’s everything the arena isn’t.

But the Baltimore Arena continues to consistently book the same big-time events as the region’s more modern venues. From Carrie Underwood to Justin Timberlake, from Barry Manilow to Pearl Jam, from Rihanna to Ultimate Fighting Championship and from World Wrestling Entertainment to Disney on Ice, the Baltimore Arena has breathed life into downtown during recent years, not detract from it.

At 22, Demi Lovato has  gone from Disney diva to pop queen. (Jon Gallo)

At 22, Demi Lovato has gone from Disney diva to pop queen. (Jon Gallo)

Lovato’s performance followed Timberlake’s July show that filled the arena, enabling the Baltimore Arena to lay claim of having booked two of the summer’s biggest pop tours. Lovato’s latest album “Demi” topped iTunes charts in more than 50 countries, with its first single, “Heart Attack” going triple platinum in the U.S., joining “Give Your Heart a Break” as her only songs to reach that sales mark.

“She could have chosen to open [her world tour] anywhere, but she picked Baltimore,” Remesch said in July. “Bottom line: We are not a tertiary market. We have proven that we can, and do, hit home runs.”

Upcoming events at Baltimore Arena

Sept. 9: WWE: Monday Night Raw, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 25: Five Finger Death Punch & Volbeat, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 10: Hip Hop Legends, 8 p.m.

Oct. 20: Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans (NBA exhibition), 7  p.m.

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Disney on Ice: Frozen, numerous shows and times

Nov. 15: Shogun Fights, 7 p.m.

Nov. 19: Slipknot, 7 p.m.

Dec. 4: The Black Keys, 8 p.m.

 


About the author

Jon Gallo

Jon Gallo is an award-winning journalist and editor with 19 years of experience, including stints as a staff writer at The Washington Post and sports editor at The Baltimore Examiner. He also believes the government should declare federal holidays in honor of the following: the Round of 64 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament; the Friday of the Sweet 16; the Monday after the Super Bowl; and of course, the day after the release of the latest Madden NFL video game. Contact the author.
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