The lineup was stacked at Molson Ampitheatre yesterday. Hot Chelle Rae and Demi Lovato were the perfect pairing to make the crowd (mostly preteens and parents) go wild. The outer lawn was closed, making for a more intimiate show as Hot Chelle Rae kicked things off with a Nashville bang.
The four piece band of trendy guys sang and played live while managing to sound exactly like their record. Ryan Follesé worked all angles of the stage, never forgetting the fans. The set was short- under 45 minutes- but didn’t feel that way. They played all of their hits as well as the song, “Wish” for the very first time in Canada. Fans screamed their hardest when they learnt about this exclusive first listen. Hot Chelle Rae closed off the show with their best, “Whatever” and even brought a lucky lady on stage to help them sing the rapping portion.
Next came the headliner, Demi Lovato. She popped up from the main riser on stage sporting a rocker look, complete with blonde and pink ombre hair. She opened with “All Night Long”, a song vowing to keep the party going. Demi Lovato was true to her word! She kept things high energy, jumping around the stage and running from corner to corner. She played all of the fan favourites, including “Get Back”, “Catch Me”, “Don’t Forget”, and “La La Land”- rocking out on acoustic and electric guitar. Lovato ventured outside of her regular repertoire as well. She asked her guitarist to play her favourite song and out he came with, “How to Love” by Lil’ Wayne. It seemed an unlikely pairing, and thankfully Demi chose to sing, not try her hand at rapping. Aside from a few sections where the key seemed a little to high for her, she belted it out well and it was an interesting take on the Lil Wayne‘s song. She also sang, “Turn Up The Music” by Chris Brown and this time started the song out too low. She quickly recovered and found the key that was right for her.
Demi Lovato wasn’t afraid to calm things down with a grand piano for her heartfelt songs like “Skyscraper” and “Remember December”. It was in these moments that Demi was very candid about her past struggles with addiction and self harm over the years. Her honesty was refreshing, not trying to hide her past but using it as a example of how anyone can turn their life back around. She read aloud every fan poster that she could and thanked her fans for helping her “stay stong”. She was so into performing her songs, she even forgot the lineup and her blocking- pretty telling since she’s been on tour since early June.
All in all, it was a feel-good show that sent a positive message and kept people out of their seats. Demi Lovato has done a lot of growing up and it shows in her performance. She has room to grow but will no doubt rise to the occasion as she continues to mature. After having filmed two Camp Rock films here, Demi stressed the happiness she had to take the stage in Toronto. Demi Lovato is a strong performer with a deep connection to her fans. She’s back and here to stay.