Selena Gomez keeps things classy at Barclays Center

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James Keivom/New York Daily News

Selena Gomez performs on her ‘Stars Dance Tour’ at the Barclays Center.

Not once during Selena Gomez’s show at Barclays Center Wednesday did she do any of the following:

– Dangle her tongue suggestively out of her mouth

Gomez was nothing like Miley Cyrus during her performance.

James Keivom/New York Daily News

Gomez was nothing like Miley Cyrus during her performance.

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– Perform odd functions with a foam finger

The Barclays Center concert was part of Gomez' first solo world tour, in support of her album 'Stars Dance.'

Kevin P. Coughlin/New York Daily News

The Barclays Center concert was part of Gomez’ first solo world tour, in support of her album ‘Stars Dance.’

– Twerk

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Gomez' gig featured a number of flashy dance moves.

James Keivom/New York Daily News

Gomez’ gig featured a number of flashy dance moves.

In fact, the first arena tour by the latest teen idol in transition may have been specifically designed to invert such behavior, marketing her as the anti-Miley. “You know what I think is sexy?,” she asked at one point. “Class.”

Gomez and Cyrus share similar backgrounds: Both established themselves on TV shows meant for the dewiest viewers. Each has put out intentionally naive CDs for the tween set. And they’re now, at either 20 (Miley) or 21 (Selena), engaged in parallel pursuit of a more mature approach. Gomez’ first adult CD, “Stars Dance,” came out in July and opened at No. 1. Even so, Gomez began her Barclays display with two songs from her more doe-eyed past, “Bang Bang Bang” and “Round & Round. What followed didn’t stray too far into anything edgier or more evolved.

The 'Come & Get It' singer's staging wasn't flashy.

James Keivom/New York Daily News

The ‘Come & Get It’ singer’s staging wasn’t flashy.

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The Texas-born singer kept her patter chaste and her demeanor beamy. That dovetailed well with the crowd, who fell mainly in the low-teen range, accompanied by their doting parents.

Gomez did stretch a bit in her choreography. The show featured lots of athletic dance moves, which she executed with rigid resolve. Eight dancers backed her. Even so, her staging wasn’t flashy. No one flew through the air and nothing exploded.

Gomez’s vocals didn’t offer great heat either. At best, she’s an effectively girlish singer, though that didn’t prevent her from trying some stretches, like affecting a preposterous Island accent, a la Rihanna, in “Like a Champion.” Gomez’s most assertive moment came in the big gooey ballad “Love Will Remember,” when the screens flashed words like “jealousy” and “breakup.” They alluded to Gomez’s busted romance with Justin Bieber, scoring a gossip bulls-eye.

Before the key song “Who Says,” the singer insistently told her fans “you guys are beautiful exactly how you are.”

In such moments, Gomez came off like a boostering Texas cheerleader. If that doesn’t quite cut the profile of a fully adult pop star, it made the right fit for little girls still searching for the safest possible role model.

jfarber@nydailynews.com


Music & Arts – NY Daily News

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