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November 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Selena Gomez classy and sassy at KeyArena | Concert review

(Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times0

(Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times)

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Tween queen Selena Gomez kicked off her concert Tuesday at KeyArena with a bang — literally — with “Bang Bang Bang,” her 2011 single.

A near-capacity crowd of mostly girls and their parents responded with a deafening roar, holding up signs and waving lighted cellphones as the Texas-born singer-dancer opened her high-energy, tightly choreographed concert blending pop, reggae, dubstep and electronic dance music.

Backed by a six-member band and an entourage of dancers, Gomez performed on an S-shaped stage (for Selena) with a circular platform emblazoned with a “G” for Gomez. Her outfit — a white skirt and white top showing her bare midriff — included white boots decorated with her initials.

Before singing “Who Says,” an anthem encouraging fans to believe in themselves, Gomez reminded the audience that she always tries to be a good role model, saying “Kids trust me … parents trust me.” It wasn’t a stretch, despite her sexy new video with actor Shiloh Fernandez for the magazine Flaunt.

The set included songs from her new album, “Stars Dance,” and previous CD, “When the Sun Goes Down.” Among them were the romantic “Write Your Name,” the celebratory “Birthday” and a boisterous version of Katy Perry’s “Roar.”

The best song of the show was “I Love You Like a Love Song,” which simply soared. Unfortunately, Gomez often enhanced her vocals with backing tapes, typical of young stars on arena tours.

A video mimicking tabloid coverage of her failed romance with Justin Bieber preceded the reflective ballad, “Love Will Remember.” A cover of Priscilla Ahn’s wistful “Dream” featured Gomez briefly on harmonica.

The singer finished the main set with the high-energy songs “Whiplash” and “Naturally” before returning (amid piercing screams from the audience) for the huge hits “Come and Get It” and “Slow Down,” the latter accompanied by a sexy, stylish video.

With her long, brown hair, the attractive, still-girlish-looking Disney Channel star looked more like 15 than 21. Her show struck a comfortable balance between sassy and classy.

Opening acts were Emblem3 and Christina Grimmie, a spunky YouTube phenomenon who led the audience in a singalong of her feisty “Absolutely Final Goodbye.”

Emblem3, a boy band blending rock, hip-hop and reggae-flavored pop, performed songs from its current album, “Nothing to Lose.” The trio featured siblings Wesley and Keaton Stromberg and friend Drew Chadwick, who grew up in Sequim. Well-received by Gomez fans, the energetic, engaging trio appears to have a bright future.

As for Gomez’s future, it includes a Dec. 8 performance at the Comcast Arena at Everett on the 106.1 KISS-FM Jingle Ball.

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Stars Dance", Concert Review, Emblem3

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