Demi Lovato's "Neon Lights" 2014 North American tour launched Feb. 9 in Vancouver, and so far, the tour has been getting mostly positive reviews. (See excerpts from some reviews at the end of this article.) It's been a nice change of pace for Lovato, who got a lot of backlash from "X Factor" viewers in 2013 and whose recent music sales have been flopping. (Lovato's three most recent singles —"Made in the USA," "Let It Go" and "Neon Lights" — have failed to become Top 40 hits in the U.S.)
As previously reported, Lovato teaming up with several "X Factor" alumni for the tour — Fifth Harmony, Little Mix and Cher Lloyd — who will be the opening acts on the tour. Fifth Harmony is on all the tour dates, while Little Mix and Lloyd are doing select dates on the tour, which ends in Indianapolis on March 30, 2014.
Lovato was a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012 and 2013. She quit the show at the end of what was the show's third and final season because she said that she wanted to focus on her music career. Two months after she quit, Fox announced that "The X Factor" U.S. was cancelled.
Fifth Harmony came in third place on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012.
Little Mix was the winner of "The X Factor" U.K. in 2011.
Lloyd came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2010.
All of these "X Factor" stars have performed with each other or made public appearances at the same event.
Lovato has teamed up with Fifth Harmony for other projects, including a performance of her hit "Give Your Heart a Break" on "The X Factor" U.S. Season 2 finale in December 2012. Lovato and Fifth Harmony also made appearances together at Topshop in Los Angeles (in February 2013) and New York City (in May 2013). Lovato and Fifth Harmony were among "The X Factor" stars at Fox's Fanfront event in May 2013.
Meanwhile, Lloyd is a featured artist on Lovato's song "Really Don't Care," which is on Lovato's fourth album, "Demi," which was released in May 2013.
Lovato, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix and Lloyd were also at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. Lovato was a performer and winner at the show, while Fifth Harmony and Little Mix were presenters. Lloyd was there just as an attendee.
Fifth Harmony and Little Mix were each formed on "The X Factor" when the show put together contestants who originally auditioned as solo singers.
The members of Fifth Harmony are Camila Cabello, Normani Hamilton, Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane Hansen and Lauren Jauregui.
The members of Little Mix are Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall.
Little Mix's second album, "Salute," was released in the U.S. and Canada on Feb. 4, 2014. The album debuted at No. 6 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 chart.
Lloyd's second album, "Sorry I'm Late," will be released on a date to be announced.
Fifth Harmony's first EP, "Better Together," was released on Oct. 22, 2013, and debuted at No. 6 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 chart. Three other versions of the EP were released: acoustic, Spanish-language and acoustic Spanish-language, but neither of these versions made it onto the Billboard 200 chart.
Little Mix, Fifth Harmony and Lloyd are all signed to Syco Music, which is co-owned by Simon Cowell and Sony Music.
Lovato is signed to Hollywood Records.
Here are the tour details for Lovato's "Neon Lights" 2014 North American tour:
(All concert dates and venues are subject to change.)
Feb. 9, 2014: Vancouver — Pepsi Live @ Rogers Arena*
Feb. 11, 2014: San Jose, Calif. — SAP Center*
Feb. 13, 2014: Anaheim, Calif. — Honda Center* (On sale Oct. 12, 2013)
Feb. 15, 2014: Glendale, Ariz. — Jobing.com Arena*
Feb. 17, 2014: Grand Prairie, Texas — Verizon Theater at Grand Prairie*
Feb. 19, 2014: Houston — Toyota Center*
Feb. 21 2014: Atlanta — Philips Arena*
Feb. 23, 2014: Charlotte, N.C. — Time Warner Cable Arena*
Feb. 25, 2014: Sunrise, Fla. —BB&T Center*
Feb. 26, 2014: Tampa, Fla. — Time Bay Times Forum*
March 1, 2014: Camden, N.J. — Susquehanna Bank Center*
March 2, 2014: Fairfax, Va. — Patriot Center*
March 5, 2014: Worcester, Mass. — DCU Center*
March 7, 2014: East Rutherford, N.J. — IZOD Center*
March 8, 2014: Wallingford, Conn. — Toyota Oakdale Theatre*
March 11, 2014: Uniondale, N.Y. — Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum*
March 13, 2014: Auburn Hills, Mich. — The Palace At Auburn Hills*
March 14, 2014: Rosemont, Ill. — Allstate Arena*
March 16, 2014: Omaha, Neb. — CenturyLink Center*
March 18, 2014: St. Paul, Minn. — Xcel Energy Center*
March 20, 2014: St. Louis — Chaifetz Arena**
March 22, 2014: Columbus, Ohio — Nationwide Arena**
March 23, 2014: Grand Rapids, Mich. — Van Andel Arena**
March 26, 2014: Toronto — Air Canada Centre**
March 27, 2014: Cleveland — Quicken Loans Arena**
March 29, 2014: Nashville — Bridgestone Arena**
March 30, 2014: Indianapolis — Bankers Life Fieldhouse**
*Dates with Little Mix
**Dates with Cher Lloyd
During the tour, Edwards' fiancé, Zayn Malik of One Direction, was seen at the concert in Anaheim. Fans reportedly went into a frenzy at seeing him in the audience, as they clamored to touch him and take photos of him.
Meanwhile, Lovato's on-again/off-again boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama was at the Dallas concert. Lovato tweeted a backstage photo of herself, Valderrama and his "From Dusk Till Dawn" TV co-stars with this message: "Thank you SO much to my #FromDuskTillDawn family for flying to Dallas for the night to see the #NEONLIGHTSTOUR!!!"
Nick Jonas, who is the tour's musical director, has been joining Lovato on a few songs at every concert, according to reviews and other reports. Lovato and the Jonas Brothers co-starred in Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" movies. Lovato briefly dated Joe Jonas (Nick's brother) in 2010. Lovato also used to work with Nick Jonas when she recruited him to be a guest mentor assisting her in selecting contestants on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012.
"America's Got Talent" alum Collins Key has been doing magic tricks between sets at each concert during the tour.
Here are excepts of reviews of Lovato's "Neon Lights" tour:
Review of Vancouver concert on Feb. 9, 2014
"Demi Lovato kicked off her 'Neon Lights' tour with a flashy yet strikingly intimate concert at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. During one of her many heart-to-hearts with fans, the 21-year-old said touring isn’t about dancing or fireworks but “you and me” and that personal approach resonated through every aspect of her hugely enjoyable show. There was no choreography and only one costume change but you don’t need shiny distractions when you can belt out songs like Demi and connect with the crowd on such an emotional level. That’s not to say that the production was boring. Far from it. LED lights laced the stage and a giant screen showed beautiful projections from the diva’s career. It’s just that they were used to accentuate the experience rather than to divert your attention from vocal shortcomings. Think a Kelly Clarkson concert with more razzle dazzle."
Review of San Jose concert on Feb. 11, 2014
"It’s been a few years since Demi Lovato was last on stage in concert here in the Bay Area. Last night’s ‘Neon Lights Tour’ proved to be MORE than worth the wait! Not only was Demi on fire, she brought along two of the biggest female groups out right now with her for the fun on tour, Fifth Harmony & Little Mix!! Plus surprise guest, Nick Jonas turned the already loud screaming crowd level even higher! Plus, yes… Demi sang ‘Let It Go’ from the Frozen soundtrack!! What else could you want?? What a concert!! As opening acts for concerts go- sometimes they are people less popular, never heard of. Maybe only have 1 or 2 hit songs…. not these 2 groupd of ladies!! Fifth Harmony & Little Mix definitely held their own spot! Of course it was Demi who I couldn’t take my eyes off of. She was a new, stronger, powerful and liberated Demi. You could tell she was in the moment, soaking in all the love from the thosands of screaming and neon- wearing fans."
San Jose Mercury News
Review of concert in San Jose, Calif., on Feb. 11, 2014
"Demi Lovato has so much going for her. She's found sizable success on TV, starring in the Disney Channel's 'Camp Rock' and 'Sonny with a Chance' as well as appearing as a judge on 'The X Factor.' She's also released several hit singles and albums. Most impressive of all, the 21-year-old multimedia star has nurtured a massive fan base, which includes her nearly 21 million followers on Twitter. Unfortunately, her ability in the live arena isn't nearly as impressive as the rest of her résumé. Her concert on Tuesday at the SAP Center in San Jose was just so-so, and just barely interesting enough to keep one's attention ... The audience also gave its nod of approval to opening act Little Mix — and the group certainly deserved it. The all-female vocal quartet was sensational, coming across like a junior version of the Spice Girls. The four women — Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall — blend their voices beautifully. We should be hearing more of them in the months to come."
Review of the concert in Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 13, 2014
"The show began with opening act, Fifth Harmony ... For being an opening act, they put on quite a show. They showed fierce attitude, individual personalities and of course powerhouse vocals. UK girl group, Little Mix, also served as an opening act for the show ... One Direction member, Zayn Malik, even took a seat in the crowd to watch the show. He is currently dating Perrie Edwards from Little Mix. His attendance caused ear-shattering screams and over-the-top behavior from teenage girls, causing him to run backstage. Demi Lovato took the stage around 9 p.m. to a standing ovation. She opened the show with 'Heart Attack,' her first single off her fourth album, 'Demi.' She went straight into 'Remember December' right after, leaving little room for a breather. Most of the show went like this. With song after song, Lovato performed a wide variety from every one of her albums, something many artists do not do."
Review of concert in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 15, 2014
"No one was taking notes on Saturday night, but surely Glendale's Jobing.com Arena set a record for loudest indoor stadium for Demi Lovato's 'Neon Lights Tour' stop. ... There was plenty to scream about and for:
• "Lovato's arsenal included the high-voltage dance songs 'Heart Attack,' 'Skyscraper,' 'Give Your Heart a Break' and the tour's namesake 'Neon Lights," pulled from the 21-year-old superstar's four chart-topping albums. She provided the concert's biggest highlight when her Twitter followers in the audience — she has 21 million and counting — tapped into a special app during the song 'Neon Lights; then raised their phones in the air as a bright white light blinked in time to the song ...
• "Little Mix may not be as well known to American audiences, but they certainly had more fans than they expected at the Glendale concert. At one point, Leigh-Anne Pinnock looked out at the fans singing along to 'Wings' and told the audience she was surprised at how many of them knew the lyrics ... Judging by the response to their R&B/hip-hop rocking set complete with some pretty impressive choreography and a cast of four buffed male dancers, their American fan base widened.
• "Fifth Harmony kicked things off as the first act of the night and set the scream bar high. There is something infectious about the five girls — they range in age from 16 to 20 — and their poppy tunes including 'Miss Movin' On,' 'Me and My Girls' and 'Better Together.' Like Little Mix, the girls performed along to a recorded music track, which gave them more room on the stage to show off some commendable choreography. The only complaint: It would have been nice to see more of them."
Review of concert in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 15, 2014
"It was a long wait for the more rabid Demi Lovato fans, who stood or sat nearly two-and-a-half hours with their homemade signs tucked under their arms or between their knees for the Neon Lights Tour Saturday, Feb. 15, at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. Before they could wave their glitter-shiny signs, though, they had to weather reality-show-manufactured warm-up acts and targeted advertising ... A video of the girls from “Fifth Harmony” talking about the importance of loving yourself and embracing your faults revealed itself to be a commercial for Clean & Clear acne products ... It was shaping up to be a dismal display of lip service to self-empowerment in an arena packed with impressionable teenage girls. That is, until Lovato, 21, took the stage at 10 p.m. ... It would be clear even to the most disinterested parent why this young woman should be headlining an arena tour: One song in, and Lovato's personality and enthusiasm filled the arena with more spirit than the combined efforts of everyone who took the stage before her."