Selena Gomez took to social media to warn fans of a possible Brisbane cancellation on show day, but she braved her strep throat to deliver the Australian finale of the Revival Tour.
The pop star assured fans she'd do her best to go ahead with the evening: “Going to do absolutely everything and anything I can do to perform tonight”, she posted to Snapchat.
A few hours later, with no word of cancelling, relieved fans packed into the foyers of Brisbane Entertainment Centre donned in their best outfits: LED light up necklaces, “REVIVAL TOUR” home-made shirts, and of course the official tour merchandise.
Selena drew an impressive crowd to the venue, and a mixed one at that. It wasn't just young girls with their parents as some may expect, it was also young adults and even middle-aged people who were inspired by Selena's message, a diverse group of fans gathering to celebrate the Disney-star-turned-pop-sensation.
Kicking off the night was someone with much the same success story as Selena's: Joe Jonas with his band DNCE. They may well be the best opening act this reviewer has ever seen. If their infectious pop-infused-with-rock-infused-with-disco vibes weren't enough to wow the crowd, Cole Whittle and JinJoo Lee on guitars and backing vocals tore up the stage with hilarious dance moves, and eye contact with the screaming fans.
Burning through their high energy setlist with not a moment of calm, the group finally responded to the rising excitement in the room by finishing with their most popular song 'Cake By The Ocean'. The entire arena was on their feet, and in a flash, Joe Jonas disappeared from the stage. The screams reached fever pitch as he reappeared, running up the stairs of the stands and singing on a platform among the fans. The song came to an end and Joe returned to the stage, as DNCE waved goodbye with 'We Are The Champions' blasting to see them off.
Rihanna's 'This Is What You Came For' echoed loudly through the Entertainment Centre to welcome Selena to the stage, as the lights faded and the Revival Tour began.
The show in its entirety was visually stunning. Broken up by carefully crafted and edited video interludes driven by musical overlays, each was different from its predecessor, creating a new mood for the part of the show that followed. Her outfits from start to finish were sparkly, flowing, figure-hugging and everything in between. The wardrobe department definitely deserves props for this one.
Though she was visibly under the weather, the performer managed to last the entire show, albeit clutching at her throat and vocally dropping out mid-songs to take a breath. This didn't seem to faze the screaming Selenators, though, who managed to reach new decibels with every move she made.
'Same Old Love', [a remix of] 'Come And Get It', 'Sober' and 'Good For You' were the first cabs off the rank, and as with any album tour, the setlist comprised mostly of her latest work. She didn't forget the old stuff, though: 'Love You Like A Love Song' received a wildly positive reaction, as did 'Who Says'. Explaining to the audience that it was her best friend's birthday, Selena sat down at the piano to perform a mashup of 'Transfiguration' from Hillsong and her own 'Nobody'.
The show then took a Latin/Flamenco inspired turn both musically and visually, as giant inflatable roses appeared on stage and Selena entered wearing a detailed gold leotard. She powered through 'Me & My Girls' and the similarly titled 'Me & The Rhythm' (nice setlist placement!) before going crazy for the banger 'Body Heat' and a random but wonderful cover of 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)' by Eurythmics.
The dancers should also be given props: although not the most spectacularly choreographed show ever, they complemented the strutting, swaying Selena perfectly through almost every song, creating even more of a reason for the room to scream.
Suggesting the night was coming to an end, the pop star played her latest single 'Kill Em With Kindness', starting by saying “there's so many crazy things going on in the world, and we could all use a little more kindness.”
Zedd collaboration 'I Want You To Know' got the screaming fans on their feet one last time, with its building pre-chorus and powerful, punch-packing drop. She wrapped up her final Australian show with 'Revival', thanking the crowd and promising she'd be back soon.
It wasn't a show filled with narratives, huge props or heavy choreography, but Selena Gomez's Revival Tour was a dance party for all ages. The video interludes complemented the music beautifully, giving Selena the time to change outfits between sections, and giving her fans something pretty to look at all at once. The setlist was an appropriately crafted homage to her latest album, sprinkled with hits from 'Stars Dance' and even a few from her days with The Scene, which meant long-time fans got a tasty bite of nostalgia, even if it was only once or twice.