I am a product of the Golden Age of Disney Channel. I grew up on Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, High School Musical, Camp Rock, Hannah Montana, and a ton more. Now, as an 18 year old high school Senior, the rest of my class reminisces about our childhood music and TV shows about once a day. Just walking down the hall, you can hear people just start singing “How did you get here under my skin, SWORE THAT I’D NEVER LET YOU BACK IN!” or “Nobody’s perfect, I gotta work it, again and again ‘till I get it right,” and random people will join in. You can say that we are lifetime members of the Disney Channel Fan Club.
Living in Tampa, I have the opportunity to attend a lot of concerts in some fantastic venues (a few weeks ago, I saw 4 concerts in 2 weeks in 4 different venues…it’s obsessive) and recently, I got to attend the Demi Lovato Neon Lights Tour and the Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour. Both I had heard a lot about and both had me very excited to attend.
Demi Lovato had 3 opening acts, the boring Fifth Harmony, the odd Little Mix (though they both sang Destiny’s Child covers just hoping to gain my love…they failed) and the super weird made-me-super-uncomfortable Collins Key (whoever ok’ed him was an idiot). Yet, finally, at 9pm, Demi came on and blew the roof of the place. She mixed inspirational songs with some of her quintessential kick-butt style to produce a fantastic concert.
She sang a nice mixture of all of her albums, but at one point she shows a Disney Channel “medley” video, highlighting all of her old Hollywood Records music videos, with some Camp Rock thrown in for good measure. The problem with it is that she got everyone’s hopes up, and then crushed them like Donald Trump firing Omarosa by not singing any of them. It was incredibly depressing for this This Is Me obsessed teen.
The theatrics of it were rather down to Earth, as far as concerts go, but fun enough to get everyone on their feet dancing to every song. At one point, a fan gave her a Venezuela hat and she began to speak about the craziness going on there and in the Ukraine on a level that the crowd (very mixed, but about 14-22 was the key demographic) could understand, which was amazing and really cool. Overall, it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended.
Then, Miley happened. Holy goodness gracious my god…it was like a weird acid trip. A 30 foot tall screen that had different animation clips for each song, along with back up dancers dressed as lighters (and one as some Mary J…if you are picking up what I’m throwing down) and mascot animals, grinding on top of gold escalades and 20 foot tall inflatable wolves. It was so bizarre.
She sang her entire new Bangerz album, a mixture of covers (her cover of Jolene is pretty spectacular) and two throwbacks (Can’t Be Tamed and her second encore was Party in the USA), which was great, since she really does have a pretty great voice. The theatrics were super over the top (she rides out of the theater on a flying hot dog at one point…so yeah) but it was a crazy good time, more “fun” than Demi.
She seemed to be having the time of her life and really invested with the fans. She had a small stage she went to midway through the concert that was almost on top of some fans. At one point she went “I can see y’all now, so you better not be texting, ’cause I’m about to Instagram a video and I don’t want to see people checking their Twitters”. Everyone in the arena followed suit, by dancing through every note she sang.
Now I completely realize, Miley is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea nowadays. While Demi’s crowd was more mixed, Miley sold out the 14,500+ Tampa Bay Times Forum, with most of the crowd being 17-26 years old and about 40% of them showing MAJOR butt cheek. She must be doing something right.
The Disney Channel gene has come and gone for both of them, and while one kind-of-sort-of sticks to it, the other rebels in every way, shape and form. At both concerts, I constantly heard tons of people saying that Demi and Miley were their role models. Demi, I could understand, as she faced hardships in the form of addiction, conquered them, and came back even stronger than before. When 13 and 14 year old girls said Miley, I had to stop and think about it. After discussing the idea with the people I attended the concert with, my friend Salma made a great point that made absolute sense. Miley inspires people to do whatever they want. People are going to judge you no matter what, everyone has an opinion, so who are they to say what you can and can’t be. You have to live your life to the fullest and go crazy as much as possible.
I highly recommend you check out either concert if it happens to be in your area (Miley, though, is rated PG-13) and be definitely sure to check out their albums Demi (Nightingale and Made in the USA are the highlights) and Bangerz (Love Money Party and Maybe You’re Right are the highlights).
If you’ve seen either concert or have thoughts on either star, let me know in the Facebook comments below or on the discussion boards.