On Saturday night, one of the most anticipated shows of 2018 hit the Target Center as Demi Lovato and DJ Khaled turned the venue into a power plant of positivity. An evening of affirmations, acknowledgments and anthems, it’s the rare occasion where one in the audience can actually feel other around them feel good.
From Kehlani setting the tone with the singalongs, through a celebration of humanity, it was a transcendent night. Here’s our 5 takeaways.
1) We All Scream For…
From the second that the lights dimmed for Kehlani’s set, the high-pitched wailing started and did not cease throughout the evening. But it wasn’t just Lovato’s teenage fans losing themselves in the music. With perhaps the most diverse crowd across ages, races and genders at a major concert this year, the one uniting force was the non-stop passion for the night’s performances. There were no lulls.
2) The Joys of Vulnerability
The assembled audience was just as excited to hear Kehlani perform “Crazy” (backed by the infectious zeal of DJ Noodles) as they were to cheer for her declaration of admiration for Lovato publicly overcoming her struggles. Declaring the event a safe space for all, Kehlani set the tone for subjects of death, sobriety, depression and anxiety to be addressed while still feeling like an absolute party.
3) Family Comes First
Let’s put the rumors away, DJ Khaled isn’t just a well-connected guy who screams all over popular records. He’s an outstanding DJ. Khaled knows how to rock a crowd, and knew just how much of each song to give the Target Center crowd, leading sing-along after sing-along by pointing his mic into the stands. But Khaled would be the first to tell you that his greatest achievement is fatherhood, and his set would center around the love he has for his son Asahd, as well as the important of personal health and being there. Khaled also kept in mind that this was a family friendly event and opted to play only clean versions of his songs, but it still got turnt. After all, Lovato’s mother was in attendance that night as well, and you don’t want to be caught swearing in front of your friend’s parents.
4) When The Arena Became The Theater – Seeing Demi Lovato live is like seeing four different Broadway musicals in one night. From the intimate vocal work, through some absolutely incredible sets of dancers and innovative stage-productions that saw everything from a dozen different Demibots singing around the arena, an army of boxers with title belts for “Confident,” a bed in the crowd for a guitar-based set, and some soulful on-stage piano playing, it felt like a year’s worth of stellar arena shows in one concert.
5) Leaving the Stage, and the World, a Better Place – Midway through her set, Lovato emphasized that she wanted to be remembered as someone who used the impact of her voice for the greater good. Acknowledging that she was almost six years sober, Lovato made sure to leave everyone with the knowledge that they can overcome whatever they’re going through. As the show grew to a close, she captured the evening’s sentiment by stating “You are worthy of love and a happy and healthy beautiful life.” After Saturday night’s show, it’s hard to imagine life getting any more beautiful, but Lovato gave us a strong start.
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