Gomez goes through the motions

Pop star Selena Gomez took her concert to a climax midway and then seemed to check out

Selena Gomez belted out old radio hits as well as songs from her latest album, Revival. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

In hindsight, American pop star Selena Gomez's emotional Instagram post a few days before her concert in Singapore - about feeling "inauthentic" and "unconnected to both myself and my music" - was a sign that she would turn in the low-energy set that her fans witnessed at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.

The post has since been removed.

Whether or not the trappings of fame may have gotten to the star, who is also the most followed person on Instagram, that was no excuse for a set where her fire dimmed noticeably at the halfway mark, after her hit song Hands To Myself. The concert lasted no more than 75 minutes.

It all seemed hunky-dory when the singer kicked off the show at 8.45pm with Revival, sauntering out on stage in a cropped top and shiny black leather-look pants.

After that, she did not waste any time getting into radio hits such as Same Old Love, Come & Get It and Good For You.

But it soon became apparent that she should have probably saved those big numbers for the climax of the show.


    Singapore Indoor Stadium


There was not much belting by Gomez, although she did attempt to demonstrate a bit more range with a piano brought out on stage for Who Says, a song she remembers writing at age 16.

"Now being 24, this feels like a song I need now more than I did back then," she said. Then she followed up with a rather telling emotional plea to her fans: "At this point, I don't know how to live without you."

This seemed an odd prelude to the rather uplifting song, which has lyrics such as "You've got every right, to a beautiful life".

Being 24, she also had every right to flaunt her sensuality, never mind that the 6,900-strong crowd comprised teenagers along with young adults in their 20s.

Slightly risque graphics of a practically naked Gomez were projected on the massive screens before Me & My Girls and there were many sexy yet sombre all-black numbers among her multiple outfit changes.

A bright orange bolero she threw on was a rare splash of colour, which matched the awkwardlooking props of orange exercise balls that were used during a dance routine on Kill 'Em With Kindness.

Thankfully, she lost those props before a last-ditch, rousing performance of I Want You To Know, her massive club hit with DJ Zedd.

In the second half of the show, she performed mostly tracks from her latest album, Revival, backed by a troupe of dancers and a band that were sidelined to the far ends of the stage.

Older material such as Naturally, Stars Dance and The Heart Wants What It Wants, which would have probably pleased her die-hard fans, or "Selenators", were left out of the set list.

There was no encore. Rihanna and Calvin Harris' This Is What You Came For blared through the speakers immediately after Gomez ended her show with a remix of opening song Revival.

It looked and sounded like a pop concert, with lasers, dancers and her throwaway lines complimenting the crowd ("You guys are so loud!"). But one could not help feeling that Gomez had checked out and was just going through the paces.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2016, with the headline Gomez goes through the motions. Subscribe