05/08/2015

So Demi fine

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If  your idea of preparing for the Manila leg of Demi Lovato’s “Demi World Tour” was to unearth your copy of Camp Rock from the depths of your cabinet or hard drive and watch it repeatedly, then we’re on the same page.

It’s been almost five years since the last Camp Rock movie came out, two years since the Jonas Brothers disbanded, and one year since Demi Lovato came to Manila for her “A Special Night with Demi Lovato” tour.

Last April 30 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, she was back — minus the fringe and Disney sparkle, but still essentially herself with the same powerhouse vocals and sweet disposition. At the Skecher’s booth, teen stars Michelle Vito and Claire Ruiz couldn’t get enough of her personality, saying “she’s such a sweetheart” and “she’s so humble.”

Demi had a major hand in the production of the world tour, with her personal experiences being what motivated her to shift the focus of the tour towards her music and herself.

All black everything: Demi Lovato rocks out with her Lovatics. Photo courtesy of Skechers Philippines.
All black everything: Demi Lovato rocks out with her Lovatics. Photo courtesy of Skechers Philippines.

Keeping it simple with no backup dancers or props, an edgier Demi stepped out onto the stage in an all-black ensemble that night. But one glimpse of that wide, toothy (and sort of goofy) grin that I remembered from her Camp Rock days provided solid proof that edgy doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Her Lovatics seemed to know that, because they stayed loyal to her through and through. They even made sure she felt the love with a fan action movement during the show. When she sang Let it Go, they raised signs that said “Don’t let go, Philippines <3 You” and during Nightingale, they raised signs that said “Thank you, Demi, for being our light.”

She showed that there was enough love to go around. Also known for being spontaneous and very personal, it was no surprise that, between songs, the pop star called out to a five-year-old in the audience, praising her “Demi” shirt and giggling at the kid’s general adorableness. She even dedicated Warrior to a fan named Helen in the audience.

Pesky security guards wouldn’t let anyone stand up to dance throughout the night, but they couldn’t stop fans from jumping up and down to the beat during the show closer, a high-energy rendition of Neon Lights.

She wound down with a few uplifting words: “I want you to know that as tough as this journey can be, you can come out of this standing strong, and that I’m here with you every step of the way. And that goes out to anybody that’s dealing with things. I may not be in your country every day, but my music is,” she said.

With that short speech, she showed everyone that this was the real Demi.

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