Demi Lovato at Toyota Center, 2/19/2014
Hey, you know what's important? Eardrums. Too bad I don't have mine anymore, now that the Demi Lovato concert is over.
Wednesday night, Texas' own pop princess graced the city with her presence for the second time in a year, following the 2013 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. That one seemed really loud at the time. This one? It was louder. Luckily, it was also more interesting.
Arriving at the arena, I was a bit surprised at the lack of chaos outside. Lovato is pretty much equivalent to everything tween in my book, so I expected to see massive crowds of shiny, shrieking children all hanging out and, well, shrieking about stuff. But the outside of that place was like a ghost town. I was a bit relieved.
Until I walked inside, that is. Good Lord. Anyone who doubted Lovato's ability to fill up a stadium should have had a look inside Toyota Center Wednesday. Every single teen girl in the city must be rockin' a late-nite concert hangover this morning. They were everywhere, but despite my relatively late arrival, Lovato was nowhere.
Onstage instead was a magician charged with entertaining us between opening acts, the second of which hadn't taken the stage yet. This magician said "swag," a lot, so I half-expected "YOLO" to follow. But nope. We got #whatsinsidethebox instead. "HASHTAG what's inside the box" was said as a sentence. I will never speak tween, and really had no idea what was happening, or why the hell there was a magician. You're on your own for that part.
Up next was a British girl group called Little Mix, who had been way, way off my musical radar. Knowing my limitations, I had brought backup with me -- a 7-year-old second grader, who I assumed to be the target demographic for this thing -- to school me on what was going on. Unfortunately, she was equally confused.
For their part, Little Mix covered a ton of songs -- Beyonce, TLC and even freaking En Vogue -- but the child sat there covering her ears during the entire set. I kind of had to agree with her. Being the adult, I urged her to remove her hands and summarize for me, so I could relay to our readers. Here's what I got.
"You know, that thing she's wearing looks like a leather diaper," she said. "They can sing well, but they just don't play such good songs.
Photo by Angelica Leicht That's really her. The look of fear is genuine.
She then gave me the universal hand-signal for "meh" and covered her ears again. I didn't blame her.
Fortunately, the hands came down relatively quickly once they went offstage. Unfortunately, that darn magician came back on, and the volume stayed at a horrible level. Someone should have sent a warning about this thing.
It got to be nearly 9:15, and we were still going back and forth with the magician, who was now hawking shirts at the merch table. Both I and the 7-year-old started to wonder if Lovato was ever going to take the stage. We'd had enough of the cheesy other stuff.
Review continues on the next page.