Two days into Selena Gomez’s “Revival” tour and, if you trust Gomez at her word, the reaction from Fresno fans was louder than what she got in Las Vegas.
That might be more than onstage banter.
The crowd at Save Mart Center Sunday night was close to capacity and at a low roar through much of the pop-singer’s hour-plus set, though that could have just been the girls seated next to me.
Gomez played much her current album, plus a few old tunes, a cover of Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” and a brand-new number. She said no one had heard before, though it’s likely the one she played Friday night in Vegas.
The stage design and lighting production for the “Revival” tour was impressive; simple, subtle and innovative in a way that allowed for a few props (a set of LED covered scaffolding, a pair of giant inflatable roses) to completely change look and the feel space, which it did four or so times during the course of the performance.
A set of video screens created visual interludes, so that Gomez was front and center, even when she was off stage changing outfits.
This is Gomez playing to her strength. She doesn’t have the powerhouse voice of Bea Miller, let’s say (who opened up the show and was really quite good, with a set of mostly mid-tempo emotive rock that made the most of a quick 20-minute set), but she has something equally important. She has the ability to emote, not just with her voice, but bodily. She understands how to sell an emotion, whether it be love or longing or the catharsis of experiencing a revival.
Gomez’s set felt well choreographed.
The night’s middle slot was a full-on dance-rock riot, that had DNCE front man Joe Jonas running through the crowd and up into the stands (like, way up in the stands) where he was swarmed by fans.
The set was sonically and visually all over the place – in the best possible way. Guitarist JinJoo danced around in neon and sun glasses; drummer Jack Lawless was a mass of flailing arms and headbanging hair and bassist Cole Whittle bounced from all ends of the stage (also rolled and writhed on the ground some) while Jonas lead the band through its hits (“Toothbrush” mid-set, “Cake by the Ocean” as the finale) and a few spot-on covers, including (somewhat obviously) Prince’s “Kiss,” with a segue into James Brown.
Also: TLC’s “No Scubs” and a punked up version of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” which made my night.
▪ Gomez left the stage on a high note and didn’t come back for an encore. Didn’t need one. It was a refreshing choice that should happen more often.
▪ Not sure who is using a telescope (or magnifying glass) to watch the light show during Gomez’ set, but there was a warning against it posted at every entrance.
▪ Remember the days of arena shows without the jumbo video screens? Miller didn’t have the benefit of using the screens. I had to Google her when to figure out what she really looks like.
▪ Gomez uses Pantene. Or, at the very least, the company sponsored the show, big time. On that note, her hair is actually a good part of the show. She has wonderful hair.
▪ Rihanna was a big part of the list of songs that played between the acts. Note to promoters: Bring Rihanna to Fresno, ASAP.