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Selena Gomez and Emblem3 – Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA – October 18, 201

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Selena Gomez performing at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia October18, 2013.

Selena Gomez and Emblem3 – Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA – October 18, 2013 – A Concert Review

by Debbie Wagner

Selena Gomez didn't disappoint her fans when she rolled into Philly Friday night for the latest stop of her "Stars Dance" World Tour. Showing off her powerful singing voice and impressive dance moves, Gomez – the latest Disney Channel star gone pop superstar – made it perfectly clear that she's thrilled to take her fans with her on to this new chapter of her life. She even thanked them and their parents for trusting her to be a good role model. Throughout her 80-plus minute performance, there were no tongues hanging out, no twerking and she never, ever wagged a foam finger across anyone's crotch. 

Though their age and background of growing up on a hit Disney show puts Selena and Miley Cyrus at similar places in their lives, this 21-year-old star is no Miley. Gomez loves her fans of all ages and is definitely all about class. Before singing one of her songs that talks about being sexy, Selena gave an Ashton Kutcher-like short speech about what is sexy – and when Selena announced that to her "class" is sexy, the whole arena burst into applause.  Interestingly, the volume of cheers was not just the teens and tweens in attendance though, but also from appreciative parents thankful and impressed that a positive message was being given to their kids. 

The show started with a video showing Selena awakening and walking through a mysterious white door leading to the stage. Throughout her performance, the same video technique was used several other times: with her walking through other doors like Alice in Wonderland, allowing for costume changes. 

The audience clearly enjoyed Gomez's set selection, which included music from all of her albums including hits like "Who Says," "Bang Bang Bang," "Come and Get It" and "Birthday." Selena also performed some covers, including a powerful and well received rendition of Katy Perry's latest hit single "Roar" and a moving rendition of "Dream" by Priscilla Ahn, which she sang only after telling her audience to never give up on their dreams. 

Before performing "Love Will Remember," Selena showed her vulnerable side as a video flashed on the screen highlighting her very public breakup with Justin Bieber. Words like "no trust," "rumors," "breakup," "jealousy," "busy," and "famous" all flashed slowly and then progressively quicker on the screen. When it all went black, Gomez appeared on the stage to perform the song, seeming very emotional. 

Selena's fans sang along to all the words of her songs and seemed to enjoy every moment of her performance. The dance-friendly vibe of her performance was enjoyable and her total performance made a powerful, positive statement to her young fans. The majority of the show was choreographed well, though there was one song with her and female dancers twisting in ropes hanging from the ceiling that I didn't really get. But Gomez's eight talented dancers backed her up well and definitely made her performance exciting. Overall, Gomez put on an fun and enjoyable show proving the girl who used to be known for being the cute girl on The Wizards of Waverly Place and for dating the Biebs, is so much more than that. 

Opening for Gomez was the awesome trio from Huntington Beach, California called Emblem3. Consisting of brothers Keaton and Wesley Stromberg along with their lifelong friend Drew Chadwick, Emblem3 was first discovered as contestants on the second season of The X Factor in 2012. The boys were quickly signed by music mogul Simon Cowell to his label Syco Records and Columbia Records... because lets face it, the guy knows how to spot musical talent. 

Thanks to the smart marketing of their record labels, the boys of Emblem3 are no strangers to Philadelphia. They seem to be on an endless loop to our area, as this is probably their fourth visit to Philly in the last year. With their cool California sound and adorable looks, all these visits are paying off, as they leave their fans wanting more and more with each stop.  Friday night was no different.  The guys put on an exciting show with their young, adoring fans screaming and dreaming of their next visit. 

Known for their reggae, rap, rock sound, Emblem3 performed an energetic set with crowd favorites from their recently released CD Nothing to Lose which included "Sunset Boulevard," "Just for One Day" and of course their mega-hit from the summer, their first single "Chloe (You're the One I Want)." Other song choices included a rocking cover of Rhianna's "Diamonds." They sounded great and surprisingly you could hear their voices and music above all the screams of "Will you marry me Keaton?", "I love you Drew" and yes, frighteningly I did hear "I want to have your baby Wesley!" 

The boys of Emblem3 know how to excite a crowd.  They seem to love a lot of interaction with their audience, which is always well received.  In a favorite moment for a lot of fans, the trio figured "when in Philly..." and pulled on some Flyers jerseys, wearing them proudly for the next songs. 

During the performance of their recently released rock ballad "3000 Miles," the Wells Fargo Center glowed with cell phone lights (apparently the new concert of the old-school cigarette lighters) and you could hear a chorus of thousands singing along with the guys. 

Recently the boys were doing a CD signing for Nothing to Lose that we were lucky to be part of.  We spoke with many of their fans and learned of their devotion to these talented musicians and that they are willing to pay whatever they have to (or get their parents to pay) in order to see them.  Friday night's show was no different, as we heard from some of the same girls who not only forked over cash for their concert tickets, but they also super-sized the experience by buying a VIP pass to meet and touch their favorite Cali boys before their set began.

Emblem3 really is a different kind of boy band that we will be hearing about for a long time. They put on a fun, energetic show... so if you haven't caught them in concert yet, give them a try.

Debbie Wagner

Copyright ©2013 All rights reserved. Posted: October 24, 2013.

Photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2013

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