24 Aug 2011

Teen queen Selena Gomez casts a dull spell

Don’t hate Selena Gomez ‘cause she’s beautiful.

Or because, according to unfounded rumors, she dumped fellow teen pop star, Canuck Justin Bieber, because of his increasing association with hip-hop pals like Chris Brown and Sean Kingston.

Hate her because most of her music is boring.

The 19-year-old gorgeous star of Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, now in its final and fourth season, pulled into the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre for a sold-out show on Tuesday night after earlier announcing an 11-city Canadian tour in October at a press conference in Toronto. (Reporters were told: “No personal questions,” so there was no talk about Bieber.)

And while she put on a perfectly competent evening of teen pop music - with the requisite costume changes, four dancers, six-piece backing band, slick videos and lighting - it was all perfectly boring.

Let’s just say the so-called We Own The Night Tour is Gomez’s first headlining concert trek and it shows with little in the way of dynamics or pace over the course of 90 minutes.

As much as I tried to like the singer with the nice enough voice, not many of her songs really grabbed me save for Spotlight, featuring her and her dancers wielding spotlights, Middle Of Nowhere, with Gomez banging away on a big drum dressed in an evening gown, and the penultimate song of the night, and her current hit, Who Says?, from her third album When The Sun Goes Down, with her backing band, The Scene.

And that’s a song about “not being perfect,” even though practically everything about Gomez is, well, just that.

From her dark hair, big brown eyes, tiny figure and beautifully tailored clothes - she favours sequined gowns mostly, although there was also a cropped track suit that showed off her perfect six-pack - she is the ideal girl one might say.

Certainly, she appeals to other young girls who made up the majority of the audience along with their parents who couldn’t get enough of their screaming daughters grooving away with placards in their hands or glow in the dark sticks.

The adults snapped as many pictures and video of their kids during the show as they did of Gomez.

It was like one giant photo opportunity all night long.

And then came the capper, Gomez’s “tribute” to Britney Spears, the woman who began as a teen pop star before unravelling before our eyes into a bald, desperate woman who had to be taken away on a stretcher to the psych ward, although she’s currently enjoying a comeback.

Gomez explained that Spears was her first CD purchase and concertgoing experience when she was 11 years old, all of eight years ago.

Truthfully, Spears’ abbreviated songs - ...Baby One More Time, (You Drive Me) Crazy, I’m A Slave 4 U, Oops! ... I Did It Again, Toxic and Hold It Against Me - was possibly the best music played all night, other than Gomez’s show-ending cover of Pilot’s Magic as in “Oh, oh, oh, it’s magic.”

We can only hope Gomez changes up her set list for her fall tour of Canada by inserting more decent covers or perhaps some new songs.

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