Marc Anthony at Toyota Center, 9/27/2014

Marc Anthony at Toyota Center, 9/27/2014EXPAND
photos by Marco Torres

Marc Anthony Cambio De Piel Tour Toyota Center September 27, 2014

Triumphant. That was the adjective that came to mind while roaming the photo pit Saturday night, trying my best to keep up with international Latin-pop/salsa superstar Marc Anthony as he danced, sang and smiled in front of his adoring fans at the Toyota Center. To triumph is to achieve a great victory, to be successful, to win, and if anyone has done just that in the entertainment business, it is this man.

His career has spanned more than 25 years. And on Saturday night, he offered songs from each of those years, from early salsa hits "Y Hubo Alguien" and "Hasta Ayer" to tracks from his latest release, 3.0, like "Vivir Mi Vida" and "Cambio De Piel," from which this tour takes its name. Living life as a new man, yet keeping the passion and emotion that he delivers so beautifully onstage, is what his fans have come to adore.

The set list was almost exactly the same as last year's show, but that was not a big disappointment. It is refreshing to see a show on this scale be based on talent and music alone, rather than theatrics and gimmicks. Anthony tours with an absolutely spectacular big band, with an equal amount of drive and heart as displayed by their leader.

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He appeared from below the stage to the pop track "I Need to Know," elevated and illuminated center stage in grandiose fashion. His sense of humor makes him approachable, joking with the crowd, speaking in Spanglish, and gyrating in a way that made the ladies shriek.

Most of his salsa songs begin smoothy in ballad format, and then hit a "drop" where the timbales and congas sound off and make the body move. "This is a salsa show" he told the crowd. "There's no sitting down at a salsa show! At least not at MY shows!"

There were several Puerto Rican flags being flown throughout the arena. People danced in the aisles and in their seats, sang at the top of their lungs, and hugged their loves. It was an environment that really showed the power of music, and how a few sounds and words placed together in just the right order can be uplifting, spiritual and healing.

Anthony himself was moved almost to tears from the ovation he was given. With tears in his eyes, he dropped to his knees and kissed the floor, an ultimate sign of thanks and humility.

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This show had several defining moments: the percussion solo, the dramatic telenovela medley mid-show, the channeling of Hector LaVoe during the cover song "Mi Gente." There was even that moment where he held one note so long that I swore he turned purple!

So much emotion. So much talent. So much corazón. I'd much rather cover a Marc Anthony show over Drake vs Lil Wayne any day.

Marc Anthony at Toyota Center, 9/27/2014

Personal Bias: Anthony and I share the same first and middle name, I just wish we shared the same success with the ladies!

The Crowd: Muchos Latinos and Latinas, mostly Boriqua, all in love with Mr. Anthony.

Overheard In the Crowd: "This is the song we danced on our first date!" -- a happy couple in line at the bar.

Random Notebook Dump: The little girl dancing salsa a few rows in front of our section was the cutest thing ever. The dude standing in front of us the whole show, not dancing or singing or anything...not so much.

When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Marco points his camera lens towards the vibrant Houston music scene. Follow his adventures on Instagram at @MarcoFromHouston.

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