By: Melanie Silva//
It was hard to sleep that night as I anxiously awaited the unforgettable experience I would be having the next day. I had just graduated high school a couple of days before and in just a few hours I would be seeing one of the most genuine and kind-hearted artists, Selena Gomez, in Miami. The tickets were my graduation present and we had front row general admission. Wanting nothing more than to be as close as possible, we arrived three hours early.
As we waited in line with all of the other ecstatic fans, my excitement and smile kept growing by the minute. The mood changed quite a bit when it was announced that Selena had cancelled her meet-and-greets. Even though I don’t know her personally, I feel like I have a good sense of who she is. She seems to be so down-to-earth, and one of the few artists who go out of their way to show her fans love and support. At every concert, not only does she do meet-and-greets, but she also goes outside of the arena after the show to give the fans who couldn’t get a meet-and-greet the opportunity to see her. It was at the moment that she announced she would be cancelling her meet-and-greets that night that I knew she must have really been hurting.
The day before the show it was discovered that Christina Grimmie was shot while signing autographs outside of her Orlando show. Christina was a wonderful person and performer from what I had seen. Selena and her were friends and I could only imagine the pain she must have been feeling during that hard time. Despite some fans’ sadness, everyone understood Selena’s decision and respected her need for peace and quiet.
Although I didn’t have a meet-and-greet (and trust me, I wish I did), it made me realize that Selena is a person just like all of us. She too has hard days, and it’s not always easy to smile when sadness overcomes you. Despite her pain, it in no way stopped her from putting on an incredible and unforgettable show. Those three hours were worth the wait as we made it to the front area with a great view of the stage. ‘Revival’ began playing, and the dancing shadow soon turned into a person. Before I knew it, Selena Gomez was singing right in front of us! She was stunningly beautiful and her voice sounded incredible. She performed with such grace and class, and she easily transitioned into sexy and sassy during ‘Body Heat,’ and ‘Me & My Girls’.
The vibe changed as Selena reemerged wearing a gorgeous silver dress. The room grew still and we reached in our pockets to pull out our signs we had made to show her support. She got ready to sing her emotional songs, ‘Who Says’, her cover of ‘Transfiguration’, and ‘Nobody’. She began with ‘Who Says’ and the crowd sang along wondering how anyone could consider her anything less than perfect. As the song grew to a close, Selena began singing her song ‘Nobody.’ It was at that moment we pulled out our signs that read, “Selena, you are our sunshine,” and the entire arena was lit up.
Selena came over to where we were standing and she was choking up as she sang. She apologized into the microphone as we all shouted out, “I love you!” and “Stay strong!” As I saw her singing right in front of me I could see the hurt in her eyes and the desire to please her fans while also showing love to Christina up above. She spoke of Christina and her constant faith and good deeds. Like all of us, Selena was confused by the tragedy and visibly upset by how good people could be put through those types of things. As Selena played the piano and covered ‘Transfiguration’, we all thought about Christina and learned a lesson that life is too short, and that sometimes bad things happen to really phenomenal people.
From that moment on I felt as if I had some sort of connection with Selena, and I’m sure the rest of the crowd felt the same. After her emotional tribute she transitioned with ease and continued on to one of the best performances I have ever seen. Before I knew it, ‘Revival’ came on again as Selena closed the show. Confetti poured from the ceiling, filling the floor and the stage. Selena waved goodbye as we were all left with smiles on our faces from such an unforgettable experience. As I left the arena, I was overjoyed and my heart was full of love and happiness. Selena showed me what it means to be strong, and what an incredible concert truly is. Selena powered through her sadness to be there for her fans and I hope she saw that we’ll always be there for her as well. She helped so many fans create their own revival, and I know I will always be grateful for this memory she gave me that will surely last a lifetime.