Glenn Gamboa writes about music for Newsday.
Demi Lovato's Neon Lights Tour is as much about esteem-building as it is pop music.
Even before she took the stage at Nassau Coliseum Tuesday night, her surrogates were delivering her thoughts about believing in yourself and striving to be an individual.
In introducing her piano ballad "Warrior," she told her crowd how proud she was of them, especially those who had survived many of the same issues she had, including being bullied and self-harm.
"No matter what you're dealing with, you can make it through," she said. "You deserve to be happy."
That even applies to her, celebrating being part of the Oscar-winning soundtrack to "Frozen" by singing "Let It Go."
It's Lovato's personality and history that set her apart. As strong as her voice is, it's magnified by her fans who sing every word with her. The massive chorus counters the dance-pop thump used in anthems like "Really Don't Care" and "Made in the USA," where she let the crowd take the highest notes.
Lovato is actually more effective in her quieter moments, backed only by her acoustic guitar in "Catch Me."
She explained how she specifically wanted to do the ballad "Nightingale" at Nassau Coliseum to "create positive memories" of the place. On her last trip to the Coliseum during the "X Factor" auditions last year, her final memory was getting the phone call telling her that her father had passed away.
Her fans certainly enjoyed themselves, many holding up their phones during "Neon Lights" and sheets of paper stating how long they've been sober during "Skyscraper."
Hopefully Lovato got the positive memory she wanted, too.