Live review: Demi Lovato @ Manchester Arena (16/06/18)
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Despite a professional singing career spanning just over a decade, a dedicated fanbase the world over and six albums under her belt, Demi Lovato has never toured the UK with a headline show. After supporting Enrique Iglesias over four dates in 2014, and playing a small amount of one-off shows in London over the years, the star has finally brought a headline tour across the Atlantic - and the wait was definitely worth it. It is lucky that Demi was well enough to play this Manchester show. Earlier in the week she had been hit by illness that forced her to cancel her London and Birmingham gigs, the London show just 40 minutes before doors were due to open. However, when Demi rose from beneath the stage and burst into opener 'You Don't Do It For Me Anymore', a huge, soulful ballad that would test all aspects of her vocal ability, she was stunningly pitch perfect. Any music fan would tell you that intimate shows in tiny, underground venues are the best. Being crammed into a sweaty room, feeling every spit and breath of a band, getting compleletely immersed and up-close-and-personal is all part of the magic of live music. Yet, an arena show, especially from a pop goddess like Lovato, has an even bigger kind of magic. Without taking focus away from the music, Demi's creative team have clearly worked hard to make a show that's just as visually stimulating as audibly through humourous and emotive videos between changeovers, captivating dance routines, colourful lighting, gorgeous costumes and intriguing set designs including Demi rising up through the stage on a chaise lounge for 'Daddy Issues' and a messy white bed later in the set. Complete with a live band that incorporated a lot more invigorating electric guitar into tracks than there is on recording, which was a wonderful nostalgic nod to the singer's rock-infused debut, she played through a variety of tracks from her most recent studio album Tell Me You Love Me. 'Concentrate' was a highlight of the whole set, which saw the singer dressed all in white surrounded by crinkled bed sheets, strumming along to her soulful, overtly sexual lyrics on a cream Stratocaster.
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