LOS ANGELES, CA- Whether you are a fan of the Disney empire or not, there’s absolutely no debate when it comes to their knack for developing young talent and giving them the platform and visibility to blaze their own path in the pop music scene. The list of former Disney stars who have impacted music is long. The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, the newly emancipated Brittany Spears… it’s a who’s who of pop music royalty.
Dove Cameron is an American actress and singer, who played a lead role in the Disney Channel’s popular comedy series Liv and Maddie, for which Dove won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in Children’s Programming. She also had one of the lead roles in the Descendants film series. Not only did Dove excel as a young thespian, but those various projects afforded her the opportunity to show off her abilities as a singer as she was the featured vocalist on the Liv and Maddie soundtrack album and all three Descendants soundtrack albums with her single “If Only” cracking Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
Now, I’m a little too old to be watching Disney programming, but Dove’s music came onto my radar when I heard her single “Remember Me”, which was released April 2020. I was immediately captivated by Dove’s angelic vocals floating over a heavy/dark instrumental. Diving deeper into her non-Disney recordings, I was finding myself drawn more and more into the tonality of her voice. Her voice has an innate, pop-music sheen, a clean soprano that’s as pristine as they come.
Dove Cameron did a little mini-tour in October, focusing on NYC and Los Angeles (with three dates each at Baby’s All Right and Moroccan Lounge respectively) and an evening in Chicago. I was lucky enough to attend her performance at the Moroccan Lounge on 10/10/21.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at this Dove Cameron concert. After all, she’s only released a handful of her own non-Disney music (12 singles by my count). Would her rabid fan base (over 44 million followers on Instagram) come out in force to support her musical endeavors? Never doubt a Disney star’s fan base.
When I arrived at the venue, it was literally the longest line I had ever seen for this venue… and I had arrived 45 minutes before doors opened. The line literally wrapped around half the venue.
By the time the line had made its way into the room where the performance took place, the excitement was palpable. I found myself standing among a group of fans lined up against the stage. I asked them whether they were first fans of Dove’s Disney work or her music, and they each expressed that they grew up watching Liv and Maddie, but that they were all “Dovelies” at this point. “Dovelies?” I asked.
“We just love her,” one of the young ladies answer, “We love her music. We just love her.”
As soon as the house lights dimmed, and Dove walked onto the stage, the room erupted in wild cheers. Clearly, this was a room filled with Dovelies.
In an interview with E!, Dove called this tour a “new experience”, being that it was one of the few times that she’s been able to perform her own material to a crowd. While the experience may have been “new” to her, her performance revealed stoic professionalism. She was able to connect with the audience and looked to be “in the pocket”, performing each of her songs with distinct ease and unbridled confidence.
I could tell Dove was loving the experience. A smile would creep on her face every once in a while when she saw her fans singing her own lyrics along with her. As Dove enchanted her Dovelies with her performance, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the “big names” that were scattered throughout the crowd. Finneas and his girlfriend, Claudia Sulewski, were enjoying the performance in one corner of the room. Alexander 23 was posting Instagram stories from the other side of the room.
Dove performed almost all of her own singles (including “Remember Me”, “LazyBaby”, “Waste” and “Bloodshot”) and filled out her setlist with a handful of reimagined covers, including The Weeknd’s “I Can’t Feel My Face”. The only dip of the set, in my humble opinion, was when she covered Ashe’s “Moral Of The Story”. Great song, but I felt Dove’s musical theater background overshadowed her pop-vocal nuances.
She included a new song in her set, “Whole Body”, disclosing that she’s in the process of creating new music for her fans to feast on. This was confirmed in an October 24th Instagram post where she stated, “i started writing my debut EP this week and i have cried every day . alone and in front of people” [stet]. Hopefully, she’ll be able to give her Dovelies more experiences to dive into sooner rather than later.