Selena Gomez May 6, Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Selena Gomez has come a long way from the Disney Channel, but even when she’s gyrating provocatively with scantily clad male dancers, there’s something classy and wholesome about her. At her concert Friday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, the first on her Revival world tour, she made all the right pop-star moves, with multiple costume changes, glossy video interludes, a troupe of talented and fit dancers and a pair of backup singers to handle the vocal heavy lifting (and for anybody wondering, her hair is just as luxurious in person). But even as she works to move up from pop’s junior varsity, Gomez remains the nice, positive young woman who connected so well with tween Disney fans.
As a singer, Gomez isn’t particularly distinctive, and although she didn’t appear to be lip-syncing, she did often let her backup singers take over while she danced or interacted with the crowd. Still, that nearly sold-out crowd clearly had a great time, and Gomez has forged a strong connection with them. “This next song I recorded when I was 16 years old,” she said when introducing empowerment ballad “Who Says,” one of only a small number of older songs in the set (which was drawn primarily from last year’s Revival).
She then sang her heart out on that one—and so did the audience. Later, she covered both “Transfiguration” by Christian music collective Hillsong United and the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” and she sounded perfectly comfortable with both. Her audience might not have entirely grown up yet, but Gomez has done an impressive job of maturing. –Josh Bell
“Same Old Love”
“Come & Get It”
“Good for You”
“Love You Like a Love Song”
“Hands to Myself”
“Me & My Girls”
“Me & the Rhythm”
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
“Kill Em With Kindness”
“I Want You to Know”