Former Disney princess Demi Lovato graced the stage at Vector Arena for the first time on Sunday night.
My inner 14-year-old was strong as I joined thousands of ‘Lovatics’ bursting with excitement to see their idol.
Kiwi artist Jamie McDell, kitted out in a radiant red jumpsuit, nervously took to the stage first, and gave the crowd 30 minutes of pure Kiwi talent.
Soon the chants for Lovato echoed around the arena, as the lights dimmed and the crowd started to push towards the front. Lovato was welcomed onto the stage by a haka, and you could almost feel the pride from every single Kiwi in the arena.
Lovato greeted the crowd with a rocking version of Really Don’t Care, which set the tone for a brilliant show.
The singer is known to be a strong supporter of LGBTQI rights, which cued her dedicating Warrior to the brave Bruce Jenner, after his recent declaration that he is transitioning from male to female.
“This whole fame thing starts taking over and people know your name and then all of a sudden, boom you’re in rehab, and then you’re in headlines, and people know your problems now,” Lovato told the crowd of her well-documented life struggles.
“What’s incredible is that an American hero, an Olympian . . . he was already an American hero in my country because of that. To be honest, I didn’t know that until Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and let’s be honest, neither did you,” she added.
“It’s so cheesy that I’m even doing this but f*** it, whatever, I want to dedicate it to someone who became an even bigger hero last night: Bruce Jenner.”
The reaction to her dedication almost broke my ear drums.
For the rest of the night, Lovato did not disappoint. With her energetic, vibrant vibe, she was certainly giving herself a good workout. With her hits Let It Go, Fire Starter, Nightingale, and Give Your Heart A Break, Lovato showcased her powerful live vocals.
The only downside was the night ending early for some younglings getting pulled out of the crowd. I was near the front and I certainly understood why they couldn’t deal with the constant pushing, and iPhones swinging around their faces.
Lovato tried controlling the crowd a couple of songs in, telling us that we had to “move back five steps” and “calm down”, otherwise “they would have to stop the show”. She added with her American twang: “I’m just concerned for y’all guys safety”.
Being a Lovato fan since my pre teens, everything lived up to my expectations. From her inspiring little chats between songs, to coming out in a korowai gifted to her for encore Neon Lights – the night was absolute perfection.
As she strutted off the stage, I was hopeful for Lovato to visit New Zealand again, a place “she didn’t even know she had fans in”.
Gallery: View a selection of photos from the concert below