Selena Gomez Showcases Her Evolution As A Pop Star At The Revival Tour In Toronto
It’s astounding how much growth an artist can have in a year, let alone the other seven years since they splashed on the scene. That was the main focus during Selena Gomez’s Revival Tour stop in Toronto – growth, maturity, and a nod to the future.
The last time Selena paid a visit to Toronto was during her Star Dance Tour back in 2013. A lot has changed, professionally and personally, for the twenty-three year old. No longer is she bound by the shackles of her previous label, the tabloids, or her old life. Now it’s time for her to call the shots and that includes revamping her stage show from top to bottom.
This time around, things were stripped down. The bells and whistles of a normal pop show were mainly absent. Surprisingly, almost zero choreography came from the pop princess. Instead her troupe of backup dancers took the brunt of all the work. So what was left for Selena to do? Take control of everything else.
Packing nearly every single song from the deluxe edition of her latest album, the focus was entirely on Selena Gomez for the evening. From the second her silhouette appeared behind a sheet for ‘Revival’ to her barely there interlude videos, it’s clear that she is no longer the girl who was once the front woman of a project called “Selena Gomez and the Scene”. This is a woman who has fully blossomed into the person she was always meant to be.
It may sound drab, but the singular focus worked for Selena and the show. There weren’t any distractions of trying to follow a narrative or dozens of throwaway props to litter the stage. In fact, the only flashy things were the striking, high-fashion transitional videos that were present between each act. For the first time in her touring career, she was able to put the spotlight on her voice, her artistic vision, and her ability to keep the audience in the palm of her hand.
And believe us, there was no shortage of keeping her fans captivated. Kicking off her set with her biggest hits (‘Same Old Love’ & an urban-upgraded version of ‘Come & Get It’), it wasn’t long before Selena pulled off her first surprise – sticking ‘Sober’ in the first act. While not perfect, it was more than admirable to watch her confidently pull of the vocally challenging track all by herself.
From that moment on it was hit after hit after hit. Doused in a red light and glued to a cabaret chair, Selena writhed to her #1 single ‘Good For You’, gave her best Paula Abdul impression during ‘Slow Down’, and was treated like royalty during ‘Hands To Myself’.
Two previous singles – ‘Love You Like A Love Song’ and ‘Who Says’ – also got the remix treatment. ‘Love Song’ received more of a rock oriented mix while Selena stripped down ‘Who Says’ to a piano based ballad.
After ripping through a cover of ‘Transformation’, her own Christian song ‘Nobody’, and a preview of her too-good-to-wait ‘Feel Me’, it was time to head south of the border. Giant inflatable roses filled the stage and Selena appeared in Day of the Dead inspired make up. Suddenly, she emerged from the back of the stage in a golden carriage to perform the strongest act of the night including ‘Revival’ cuts like ‘Me & My Girls’, ‘Me & The Rhythm’, and ‘Body Heat’.
And then, it was time for the night to end on a high note. For surprise number two, Selena annihilated a cover of ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the Eurythmics – one of the evening’s biggest highlights – before wrapping everything up with her new single ‘Kill Em With Kindness’ and ‘I Want You To Know’.
Could she have went the other way and repurposed the same tour she put on three years ago? Of course – but what would that prove? It sure wouldn’t live up to the title of her record and her current headspace. In fact, it was during her new song ‘Feel Me’ that she seemed most at ease and confident. It’s no secret that she’s been working on the next chapter for quite some time and that this tour is a celebration of everything that got her to this point. While the evening seemed to have gone by in the blink of an eye, we have a feeling it won’t be too long before Selena graces the stage once again in Toronto.