Demi makes her comeback

Erin Wronka, Editor-in-Chief

           Disney has managed to put several young stars directly in the spotlight because of the influence this company has on fans and even other networks. After a few years of being labeled a “Disney star,” many of these teen celebrities want out of the pressure placed on them by this kid-friendly corporation. 19 year old Demi Lovato is a prime example of a Disney actress and singer who was more than ready to get out from under the wing of this company. After releasing two albums and heading her own television show on the network, it became publicized that Lovato was entering rehab for depression and eating disorder treatment in late 2010. While Disney is not completely to blame for her succumbing to the pressure, Lovato announced after exiting rehab that she would not be returning to her show Sonny with a Chance. Lovato has since expressed how much her life has changed for the better and how she’s putting her all into her music career first and foremost.

              Making quite the quick comeback, Lovato released her third album Unbroken to rave reviews and massive support from other celebrities. Lovato’s new music from Unbroken still has that pop feel that made her so famous, but the message of the lyrics could be considered much more mature. She’s not afraid to address her emotional issues in the first single from the CD called “Skyscraper,” and she also manages to address other teen issues on the album as well.

              Along with her comeback CD, Lovato set out on tour to promote this new music and her much more positive outlook on life. Straying from the Disney tendency to overdo concert effects, the singer’s Unbroken tour is a simple, raw show that just includes Lovato, her band, and the fans attending. There are no backup dancers, video effects, or electronic audio featured on the tour, making for a show that simply provides a direct listen to Lovato’s powerful voice and friendly appeal.

           The singer kicked off the second leg of her Unbroken tour in Plant City, Florida at the annual Strawberry Festival concert series. Girls of all ages who have supported Lovato from her Camp Rock days and onward filled the seats and were more than satisfied by her performance. Lovato opened the show with her song “All Night Long,” one that got the crowd dancing right off the bat. She then transitioned into a track from her second CD called “Got Dynamite,” implying that she’s still not easily going to give her heart away to someone. Both of these upbeat songs started the show off with the perfect amount of energy to get it rolling.

             The most touching part of the concert was halfway through when Lovato sat down and thanked the crowd for their continuous support throughout all of her troubles. She promised the fans that if there is anything they are struggling with in life, things are bound to get better one day. This speech was the perfect prelude to her rendition of “Skyscraper” that had the crowd and Lovato practically in tears.

            The only negative in Lovato’s concert was that if fans were hoping for much of her older music, they were let down. Most likely due to the fact that Lovato has changed and matured so much, she only performed a medley of her original singles. The condensed versions of these Disney pop songs like “Get Back” and “Here We Go Again” gave just a slight taste of Lovato’s younger persona before her troubles.

             In a comedic twist, Lovato got the entire crowd dancing when she covered Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” a song she announced that everyone had to sing along to. The best part of the cover was when Lovato completely forgot the lyrics at several points throughout the song, yet it didn’t even faze her. This part of the night was really just a reminder that concert goers were actually seeing Lovato live.

               While the Strawberry Festival is a much smaller venue than The Tampa Bay Times Forum, where Lovato played a few years ago, there was something much more significant about her Unbroken concert. Lovato’s true vocal talent was the only thing the spotlight was on and proved to fans just how strong she’s recently become.