So I attended both of Zendaya’s Bay Area tour stops at the Marin County Fair and the Alameda County Fair. It was incredibly crowded in both venues. I underestimated the stamina of mothers and fathers who would arrive at the venues 4-5 hours ahead of time to stake out seats and then have one parent settle in as seatholders while the other one takes their pack of kids off to see the fair. It makes finding seats for the rest of us pretty difficult- even though my friend and I arrived at the Marin County Fair 2 hours ahead of the afternoon show. For the rest of you, if you’re planning on attending one of her other stops get there early (4-5 hours before start time) if you want a seat.
Unfortunately, I don’t have decent video footage or photos because I was on the lawn at both events- but I’ll do a re-cap of my overall impressions. The lawn at the Marin County Fair isn’t too bad though because you can still see into the staging area and we got a place pretty close up on the diagonal to the stage. At the Alameda County Fair, the staging area is closed off from the lawn but there is a huge big screen setup that allows the people on the lawn to see a close up of the action on the stage. I got a much better view of the details of her performance and facial expression tonight then I did the night before.
Kids were screaming and chanting her name before the start of both shows- it’s kind of exciting to hear the love. There was a cameraman with a steadicam on the stage for both events so I’m wondering of they will put out official tour video footage later on. He was swirling in and around the dancers and musicians. I think the footage he captured should be pretty good.
Zendaya wore the white mesh sleeveless top, black mesh pants, and white boots at both stops. Contrary to popular belief, the outfit looked really nice on her in person. The material was light and seemed to float around her body as she moved- but you still got a sense of her shape beneath it because it was so sheer. I really liked her summer concert steeze. Her dancers wore the same black tanks with shredded fringe on the bottom of the tank. Yesterday they had a stars and stripes white leggings on while today they had on white short leggings with black stripes and black lace stockings.
Mama Kim Battiste was the host/announcer both nights. She introduces the show and then wraps up the finale. She has such great energy and an amazing commanding presence- with a great ability to rev up the crowd.
Both nights there was an 11 song set- I think - and lasted about an hour long all together. The songs were performed for the most part by Zendaya over a playback track- meaning she probably lip synched or sang lightly over the track while she danced her heart out. She really went full out on the dances and was amazing. Even further back and off to the side I was able to see how commanding she was on the stage. She did perform a 3 song acoustic set though in the middle of the show to show off her vocal chops and all those songs were amazingly performed with her live voice.
The songs in order were (to the best of my memory):
1. Swag it out
2. Watch me
3. Something to dance for
4. Fashion is my kryptonite
5. Beat of my drum
6. Wanna give you my all (title?)
7. Leave me alone (Michael Jackson cover)
8. Smile (Charlie Chaplin cover but inspired by MJ’s love for this song)
This was a gorgeous rendition both times. I think at the Marin outing they attempted to play some light instrumentation at first but gave up because it wasn’t enhancing the song. By the time, they came to it tonight they let her sing it a capella all by herself. And it was so worth it. She has a version online on youtube but this one was even better- her voice and delivery has matured.
Dancers break where every dancer had a chance to dance a little solo- Dominique Battiste is an amazing dancer with such stage presence. She stood out for me among all the backup dancers. She was also credited as assistant choreographer.
Now all new songs:
The last set of songs were all new ones from her upcoming album. And I must say that I really liked them all. I can’t wait to hear the studio versions of them- since I’m sure they’ll be even better than the live.
9. Cry for love- now this one is my favorite so far from all the youtube footage I had seen. The guitar on it was sooo good. That young guitar player was amazing- when he stepped up to center stage it was almost like the guitar as a second voice up there on the stage singing back and forth to her. I really liked the song and can’t wait to hear it again.
Back to playback songs:
The night ended with 2 songs with full dancing going on so she had a playback track happening on both songs.
10. Only when you’re close
11. Here we go again (title?)
The night ended with an extended instrumental version of the last song- Here we go again. Every band member, backup singer, dj, drummer, and musician was called up front by Zendaya and Mama Kim to be introduced and then the whole stage turned into a celebration as everyone got up and danced around the stage. Her dad who was on the stage near the side for the entire show got up and danced too. It was a great way to end the show on a high note.
One thing I took away from both shows was how much a family affair it was for Zendaya. Her cousin is one of the backup singers- the one in the middle and the bongo drummer is her brother. Also, Zendaya is such a generous performer- she gave each person whether musician, backup singer, dancer a moment to do a solo all by themselves center stage. Her backup singers were especially amazing in their solo moments- another more insecure singer would never have let her backup singers come up and potentially show off their stronger vocal power but not Zendaya. She sat back and applauded them. She, however, was clearly in command and lead of the show the entire time.
Tonight in the Alameda show, they declared that it was the best show they had had up until now and the crowd was certainly rowdier- there were hundreds packed into the amphitheater as well as the lawn. Mama Kim even came up to the mic during the performance to remind Zendaya that there were a whole crowd on the lawn that she couldn’t see and Zendaya stopped and bowed to the back of the stage in the direction of the lawn. That to me typified these shows- how really appreciative she and her whole gang were for the attention and the crowds coming to see them all perform.
In Alameda tonight, she also took out her cell phone and panned it around the audience- she was hilarious she told the lighting guys to turn off the lights so she could get a good shot and then she took a selfie of herself. Hope it’ll end up on her IG or mobli page soon.
For those of you planning on going to her other tour stops- get there early and there seems to be a meet and greet after every show, you just have to make sure you buy the meet and greet ticket at the t-shirt stand before they sell out.
P. S. After the Marin show, my friend and I went to get some food and walk around the fair grounds. What was an unexpected treat was seeing her family members walking around the fair grounds visiting with friends and family. I noticed her mom standing with some friends by the food tables munching on some roasted corn- yum! Her mom is incredibly tall- I knew that but didn’t realize it until I saw her up close. On our way out we nearly ran into Zendaya and her whole entourage (dancers and musicians coming back into the fairgrounds to have some fun after a quick change). We almost wanted to turn back around and follow them to see what they were up to but refrained… ;-) I must say she is gorgeous in person and when she walked in at the center of her group was clearly the queen bee.
Overall, a fun two days.