Demi Lovato shares her emotional struggles at Las Vegas show

The psychiatrist Demi Lovato asked the just-plain-old-Demi-Lovato a serious/rhetorical question.

“Have you been obsessing much?” the former posed to the latter, peering through black-rim glasses as her other self lay reclined on a leather therapist’s couch.

“Have you been breathing much?” she may as well have asked in a scene that took place during a video interlude in which the 25-year-old pop star portrayed both mental health professional and patient.

Seconds later, there the couch was on stage at the MGM Grand Garden arena, Lovato still sprawled upon it, this time in thigh-high black boots.

Just in case you didn’t know what you were in store for as Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me World Tour” stopped in Vegas on Saturday, Lovato brought visual cues as she spelled out her intentions in all caps: The therapy session didn’t end when the aforementioned clip did, it just moved from office to arena, swapping doppelganger shrinks for a few crotch-grabbing dancer dudes.

“Yeah, I get a little obsessive,” Lovato purred during “Daddy Issues” over oscillating synth and a playful bass line, flaunting her emotional baggage like Louis Vuitton luggage early on in her performance.

This was a night of full-throated pop pathos.

“I know what it’s like to cry. A lot,” Lovato acknowledged at one point. “It sucks.”

A former Disney TV star who once opened for The Jonas Brothers on tour, Lovato has wrangled with addiction and arm-wrestled adulthood, besting the former — she’s been sober for six years this month, she announced from the stage — still tussling with the latter.

As such, Lovato is an endearingly flawed presence, and a unique one in pop music, a singer whose big voice frequently details what it’s like to feel small. Her show follows suit: On Saturday, Lovato generally bucked the traditional pacing of an adrenalized arena concert.

It began with Lovato alone on stage, belting out torch song “You Don’t Do It For Me,” a moody kiss-off that eschewed the expected high-energy start (“Why would she open with that?” a crowd member in the stands asked her friend, ready for revelry, getting the opposite).

In the run-up to her encore, when most performers choose to leave the stage with a bang, Lovato performed a three-song suite of ballads while seated at a black piano.

One of those songs, “Father,” served as an antecedent for “Daddy Issues,” where she documented a turbulent relationship with her dad, who died in 2013.

“I told myself I would never sing it live,” she said of the tune’s highly candid nature.

But she did so anyway, and that’s one of the reasons Lovato can fill large halls: She’s unabashed in her emotional bloodletting, and in this way, her music parts the veil on her celebrity to an extent, her insecurities as prominent as the tattoos on her forearms.

None of this is to suggest that Saturday’s show was all pop star scab-picking: Lovato donned a shiny pink boxer’s robe and sang from the crowd for a time during “Confident,” performed a peppy cover of Luis Fonsi’s “Échame la Culpa,” bumped and grinded with a near-pneumatic pelvis on “Sexy Dirty Love,” and sang backed by a kiss cam during “Give Your Heart a Break” (The best shot was of a bro lovingly smooching his beer can).

As the show worked toward its conclusion with an exultant “Sorry Not Sorry,” a self-help sermon delivered with gospel-like fervor, Lovato paused long enough for one final bit of life-coaching before ending with the title track to her latest album, “Tell Me You Love Me.”

“Love yourself,” she instructed. “Not that I’m someone who should be giving advice,” she added as plenty in the crowd chuckled along, knowingly.

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like