Maluma Overheats Toyota Center With Latin Charm

Photo by Marco Torres
Urban Latino superstar Maluma turns up the heat at Toyota Center in downtown Houston.
11:11 World Tour
Toyota Center
September 27, 2019

Colombian singer-songwriter Maluma is a fascinating artist who navigates from love ballads to rock, reggaeton to trap, salsa to hip-hop. According to his bio, he is one of less than 30 performing artists worldwide to have more than 25 million YouTube followers. Friday night at Toyota Center, he radiated brightly under the lights and lasers in front of a capacity crowd, singing sexually charged lyrics that backs up his reputation as a "Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy".

As the lights dimmed, the song "Dirty Diana" by Michael Jackson rang out over the booming sound system. It was an interesting choice to set the mood, but definitely provided a certain electricity and sexuality into the air. As the curtain dropped onto the stage, an enormous video screen was reveled.

The images on that screen from beginning to end of the night were fantastic scenes from a universe full of flying cars, magical animals, cosmic lights, and spaced-themed environments. A single spotlight from above illuminated Maluma as he arose center stage, very much looking like a neon green spaceman sent to us from the future to entertain and amuse.

click to enlarge Maluma was surrounded by talented and beautiful backup dancers all night. - PHOTO BY MARCO TORRES
Maluma was surrounded by talented and beautiful backup dancers all night.
Photo by Marco Torres
Joined by a bevy of beautiful back-up dancers, his first trio of tracks were the ultra popular hits "Mala Mia", "Corazón", and "Vente Pa' Ca". The mood skyrocketed immediately, with the well dressed crowd singing and dancing along to every note, appreciating every Maluma smile, hip shake and finger point.

During one of what seemed like several unplanned moments of the evening, Maluma looked into the first few rows and saw a fan holding up a poster that read: "Puedo Cantar Contigo?", which translates into "May I Sing With You?"

The young man was then allowed on stage and provided a microphone. The song chosen for this amazing Maluma live karaoke was "Dinero Tiene Cualquiera" from the 11:11 album. The fan astonished both Maluma and the crowd by not only knowing all the words, but singing with a confident, strong baritone voice that elicited praise from Maluma and a roaring applause from the audience.

click to enlarge Maluma Baby performed an uptempo and highly energetic show in Houston. - PHOTO BY MARCO TORRES
Maluma Baby performed an uptempo and highly energetic show in Houston.
Photo by Marco Torres
Continuing with a break from the loud, heart racing action, Maluma sang an acoustic version of the song "Créeme" as a duet with his lovely backup singer. As they held hands and walked slowly around the stage, you could feel the jealously radiate from most every female (and some males) in the crowd. It was a very sweet moment that served as a lovely oasis of emotion in between the mostly high energy performances.

In another unscripted and off-set list moment, Maluma showcased his vocal range by singing the Mexican ranchera classic "El Rey," which was received warmly and enthusiastically by the mostly Latino audience.

As the night crept to a finale, Maluma once again arose center stage, this time very emotional and almost in tears due to the applause and support bestowed upon him from his fans. He made the sign of the cross, pointed to the heavens, and mouthed the word "gracias" over and over as he held his hands in front of his heart.
click to enlarge The Colombian superstar visited Houston on his 11:11 World Tour. - PHOTO BY MARCO TORRES
The Colombian superstar visited Houston on his 11:11 World Tour.
Photo by Marco Torres
The final song of the night was "Felices Los 4," which hits every genre and mood in his repertoire. It begins with a chill guitar intro, followed by a dreamy pop track, then shifts into a steamy Urban Latino heartbreaker. Maluma then offers up the salsa version of the mega-hit, whose brilliant horns and rousing drums were complemented by fireworks, lasers, and fire bursts that surrounded the singer, his band, and dancers.

If our future actually includes an Urban Latino spaceman, lively music, and cosmic visuals, count me in!

Set List
Mala Mia
Vente Pa' Ca
Dinero Tiene Cualquiera
Borro Cassette
Sin Contrato
Hola Señorita
4 Babys
El Rey
El Prestamo
Felices Los 4