Selena Gomez brings her scene to the Pavilion

A review of Selena Gomez & The Scene at the Bank of America Pavilion on August 25, 2011

, Managing Editor

At age 19, Disney princess Selena Gomez is all grown up. Compared to her contemporaries, her act has been much more Taylor Swift than Miley Cyrus, offering family-friendly fun rather than provocative pop. Currently selling out venues across the country on her “We Own the Night” tour, the young starlet showed Boston last Thursday that she knows how to keep things appropriate for her continually growing audience.

Gomez and her backing band The Scene were joined by a cast of backup dancers as well, who helped create the teen party atmosphere that defined the show. The singer and company goofed off during “Summer’s Not Hot” as a picnic blanket and cooler decorated the stage while the dancers tossed around a beach ball. There was plenty of this sort of whole fun but also signs that Gomez is ready to break away from the Disney-style performing as the dancing and lyrics in “Bang Bang Bang” were more suggestive than the bumblegum pop that’s heard in the likes of “Summer” or “Naturally”.

Although there couldn’t have been any clearer of a sign that she is ready for some sort of breakout than her Britney Spears medley, complete with folding chair-aided dance moves and all. Britney herself was once Disney property and we all know how that story goes. Hopefully Ms. Gomez can make some better decisions, although her current choice of a boyfriend makes one ponder that likelihood.

The show’s set seemed to mirror Gomez’s career as it slightly matured while it progressed. The youngest youngsters in the crowd ate up the hits that highlighted the first half like “Round & Round” and “Love You Like a Love Song”, but she lost their attention with material out of their age range like her segue from “Falling Down”  into Nicki Minaj’s “Superbass”, and the backup dancer dance-off to Lil Wayne’s “6 Foot, 7 Foot” that followed. The chairs made another appearance as well during the Britney Spears co-written track “Whiplash”, which saw Gomez really let loose as she tossed her hair around like Willow Smith.

The excited screaming was back for the encore, though, as Selena returned to her bread and butter that put so many tweens in the seats with a charming rendition of her biggest hit “Who Says”, which started with a lullaby-sounding intro and featured cute clips of the star from her childhood.

With her show “Wizards of Waverly Place” coming to an end there’s a possibility that Selena Gomez and Disney may part ways. If so there’s no knowing in what direction Gomez will go in, but whether she keeps it clean or gets a little more risqué it really doesn’t matter because either way that direction will certainly be up.

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