BY TER STAFF
Fans in Chicago had their pick when it came to live music Friday night. With P!nk kicking off her 2-night residency at the United Center, and G-Eazy treating rap fans to a great night at the Aragon, our loyalty landed with the awesome co-headlining lineup of DJ Khaled and Demi Lovato. Also billed the Tell Me You Love Me Tour, after Lovato’s newest studio album, fans at the sold-out Allstate Arena were certainly gifted with a great time from the tour’s opening act, Kehlani, but the night was all about the co-headliners of DJ Khaled and Demi Lovato.
After Kehlani set the mood with some of her best tracks, including her infectious single ‘Honey’ and her Calvin Harris and Lil Yachty collaboration ‘Faking It’, it was time for the wildly entertaining DJ Khaled to really get the party started.
Opening his set with the cutest video, showing off Khaled’s adorable son Asahd, the Miami-based mega producer hit the heart strings of the crowd, telling fans: “every morning I tell Asahd ‘I love you, I got you’, but the truth is… he’s got me.” After that moment, DJ Khaled asked Chicago where the winners were, as he emerged from stage right to his record ‘All I Do Is Win’ and Fat Joe’s ‘All The Way Up’.
The majority of DJ Khaled’s performance fit the mold of his opening, balancing between hit tracks and Khaled’s life coaching and thoughts on family. Where else are you going to party to your favorite songs while also enjoying the quotables and spiritual guidance that only DJ Khaled, the world’s best hype-man, has to offer. Khaled even gave love and a special shoutout to all the mothers and fathers in the audience, for bringing their sons and daughters to the show.
While DJ Khaled’s set is likely and expectedly similar for every night of the tour, Khaled took time to get behind the DJ booth and play some records special for Chicago, including some Chance The Rapper and Kanye West’s ‘N*ggas In Paris’ and ‘Good Life’, and Khaled’s Windy City fans were certainly living the good life. “Is this Chicago!?”, Khaled asked the crowd.
And if you went into the performance wondering how DJ Khaled would keep your attention, given the fact that the majority of his songs are performed by his A-list friends like Drake, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Rihanna, any doubts you had were quickly shattered by DJ Khaled’s contagious positivity and unique stage presence. And you didn’t need Rihanna and Bryson Tiller to come on stage to thoroughly enjoy ‘Wild Thoughts’, but Khaled did invited Kehlani back on stage for one more song, as DJ Khaled praised the Bay Area singer as the future.
Whether you mostly enjoyed his hilarious dancing, his record scratching, being part of his Snapchat and Insta Story or his curation of the perfect playlist, the performance was full of highlights to choose from. Star artists need to take note, and join Demi by making DJ Khaled a major key to their tours.
So with DJ Khaled delivering the ideal performance to set the stage for the night’s second headliner, Demi Lovato was ready and waiting to slay. No stranger to the Allstate Arena, having most recently visited the Rosemont arena for the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball with Halsey and The Chainsmokers, and also making a stop at the Allstate on her last co-headlining tour with Nick Jonas, Lovato has found a second home in Chicago.
Immediately, as Lovato appeared and kicked off her set with her Tell Me You Love Me record, ‘You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore’, the crowd erupted. Clearly Demi still “does it” for her fans, because not only was the show sold-out, but energy levels throughout the arena never reached a low.
After the set’s opening track, the first of many video interludes played, as Demi was already making her first outfit change of the night. Demi then performed another song from her 2017 album before throwing it back to her hit track ‘Cool For The Summer’.
While Demi opted out of a major and over the top production for the tour, she easily made up for it by killing it when it came to the essentials. The tour might not have the laser lights, pyrotechnics and huge props that other artist’s may offer, but last night stood out with the amazing talents of her supporting dancers, the plethora of gorgeous outfits, an emotional trip to the B-stage and piano, and most importantly with the A+ pipes that Demi has been blessed with. Although it’s no secret that Demi Lovato has a great voice, Friday was evidence of the fact that Lovato doesn’t get quite enough credit for easily having one of the biggest and best voices in music today. Even if she didn’t have the catalog of hit records that she has, the majority of pop artists today can’t hold a candle to Demi’s vocals.
The night’s setlist was heavy on Demi’s Tell Me You Love Me LP, tracks that can be also heard in the singer’s new documentary “Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated”, a unique and personal window into Demi’s life, and the same can be said about last night’s performance. As Demi ended the main portion of her set with a trip to the piano, to perform her song ‘Father’, a song dedicated to hate late father; Lovato told the crowd that she initially decided to never perform the track live, as it was too difficult and personal. But as Lovato has succeeded in finding a great grip on her confidence and metal health throughout the years, a message which resonated with the crowd, she decided that she was ready to share such a performance with her fans on tour. Needless to say, the performance was beautiful and tear jerking.
And after such a raw moment, Demi Lovato brought the crowd’s spirits back up with an awesome 2-song encore of ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ (joined by the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus) and her new album’s title track, ‘Tell Me You Love Me’, ending the night on a great note.
Get your tickets for the remaining dates of Demi and Khaled’s tour at here.