Last Night: Selena Gomez at Gexa Energy Pavilion

Selena Gomez
Gexa Energy Pavillion
August 31, 2011

Better than: hearing your 12-year-old sing lyrics about probing aliens and ménage a trois.

To the sounds of screams the likes of which I've never heard before, the lights went down at 8:22 at Gexa Energy Pavillion last night. When they came up again, Grand Prairie's Own Selena Gomez rose from beneath the stage onto a massive, half-circle platform with stairs running up either side and opened the show with "A Year Without Rain."

Along with her band (guitarist Ethan Roberts, bassist Joey Clement, drummer Greg Garman, and keyboardist Dane Forrest), Gomez was joined onstage by two white tutu clad back-up singers and four back-up dancers.

She wore a sparkly, glittery bodice with beaded fringe and a long floaty skirt just in the back. After a few numbers, she did an onstage costume switcharoo to a punk tutu and later to just the bodice and fringe, sans the long floaty skirt. 

She is a beautiful girl with some knock out legs. Still, she has this sweet look and sound about her.

"I'm not performing for you," she told the incredibly attentive audience. "I'm performing with you tonight."

The 19-year-old starlet has a powerful voice for such a tiny girl, and her diminutive stature doesn't keep her from commanding the stage either. The audience watched her every move and followed her every direction to dance and play and sing along.

After several more numbers, Gomez walked up the steps to where she first appeared and disappeared once again. While she was gone, a video played showing her in an outfit that she then appeared in -- purple glitter workout pants with a white athletic bra like top covered in sequins and glitter and jewels and stones on the front, with a wide, white, loose hood, and purple kicks.

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Throughout the night, Gomez danced and swayed and shimmied and sang and even rapped a little -- a taste of Nikki Manaj's "Super Bass." She also banged on the drum a bit, all of which made the crowd go wild.

Gomez later exited for yet another costume change and this time came out in a silky blue gown with glitter bodice and beauty queen like sash of blue across the front. It, like every other costume she wore, was gorgeous and terribly flattering, of course. And although I'm sure the fans were onstage moslty to help with the heat, but they sure made her flowy costumes look outstanding.

Gomez performed tracks from her new album, as well as her earlier ones, including "Summer's Not Hot," "We Own the Night" (also the name of the tour), "Love You Like a Love Song," "My Dilemma," "Tell Me Something I Don't Know," "Naturally," and "Who Says." It was an evening of pretty songs from a pretty, incredibly gracious girl in pretty clothes.

A video played at one point in which Selena talked about saving up her money to buy first CD -- a Britney Spears album -- and going to the concert, sitting in the nose bleed seats and yet still ending up on-stage tonight because people had faith in her, including her fans. As the video ended, Gomez reappeared once more in a sequined, sparkly, glittery strapless bodice with a floaty, layered skirt that was short in the front and long in the back with feather details.

"Thank you for the warm welcome home," she said. "This is still my favorite place to perform.
Don't let anyone tell you you can't do something, because I'm on this stage tonight because you believed in me."

The music was fun and sweet and catchy. And, yes, it may be simple. But it's also a little sexy. For the tween set anyway.

"I would be absolutely nothing without you guys," she said. "So, thank you. I was born and raised in Grand Prairie and had a very big dream and now I'm here. And to all you parents, thank you for putting up with me. I don't know how you do it."

She closed with a cover of Pilot's "Magic" and, as florescent confetti flew all around she said, "Thank you so much. I love you guys. God bless."

Yes, it was hot and, yes, the place was full of screaming tween girls and their moms -- some of them more interested in Gomez then others. But there are few things in the world as electric as young fans watching their idol perform live onstage. 

Gomez was right. It's magic.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
My 12-year-old daughter is a big fan. So, I'd heard some of the music here and there and seen bits and pieces of Gomez's TV show Wizards of Waverly Place.

By The Way: All Star Weekend, a foursome of California cuties, opened for Gomez with Christina Grimmie doing one set before them. The kids seemed to dig them. But they seemed like they'd die for Gomez. Literally.

Random Note: The guy in front of me was lowing like a cow when Gomez left the stage. Did I miss the memo? We're not mooing for encores now, are we?

Another Random Note: The people around us could not sit still. Every few minutes, no joke, one or two of them would squeeze out and squeeze back in, adults and kids alike. People, please visit the facilities and get your cotton candy before you sit down. It's only an hour and a half.

Yes, Another Random Note: No, Gomez did not mention the nude sculpture of her and Justin Bieber.

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