Selena Gomez began and ended her performance at United Center on Saturday with “Revival,” the titular track from her latest album and a presumable future outlook.
As a statement, her concert seemed less a revival than her making a case for her adult pop star emergence, but she wasn’t always convincing.
On tour for her fifth studio album, her second w she’s billed as a solo act, Gomez, at the age of 23, is no stranger to the spotlight.
The former Disney actress starred on her own TV show as a teenager, is part of Taylor Swift’s squad and made the gossip column rounds when dating her now ex, Justin Bieber.
Cast the famous affiliations aside and Gomez is a talent on her own merit.
As the main focus beyond the window dressing Gomez didn’t always look comfortable or confident, particularly when she was alone onstage for a spell during the midtempo new song “Feel Me.” Often, she lacked energy, whether it was her choices to strike poses, albeit looking gorgeous at every turn, versus joining the choreography, or when she relied on backing tracks and the audience to complete song lyrics throughout her performance, to which her adoring fans obliged.
Her rendition of Christian group Hillsong Worship’s “Transfiguration,” which she began on piano, was heartfelt and one of the few moments during the set when her star power shone through, the vulnerability was palpable.
The song blended into another highlight, her ballad “Nobody.” The empowerment anthem “Who Says” also resonated.
Though Gomez’s performance had moments that pointed to her maturing as a pop star, she still needs some room to grow.