Jennifer Lopez Takes Fans At The Toyota Center On A Journey Through Her Career

Jennifer Lopez led a team of dancers through her pop hits.
Jennifer Lopez led a team of dancers through her pop hits. Photo by Michael Amico

The lights, dimmed to a purple hue, barely illuminated the hushed audience in the Toyota Center. Gold, glowing cylinders slowly descended from the ceiling as the music reverberated around the seats in the arena. A massive screen on stage split down the middle revealing Jennifer Lopez, riding a bank vault and throwing money in the air as “Dinero,” the Bronx singer’s song with Cardi B began.

Smoke, money, glitter, and fireworks filled the air as J Lo swung down and video of Cardi B was projected across the vault for her verse. Jennifer pranced across the stage with her dancers and ended the song center stage, breathless, to a roaring crowd as gold confetti fluttered through the air. It was a moment that many artists would love to have as the perfect ending to a high energy show. It’s was Jennifer Lopez’s fourth song of her two-hour performance and she was just getting warmed up.

Jennifer Lopez’s It's My Party: The Live Celebration Tour kicked off in Phoenix earlier this month and touched down at Houston’s Toyota Center Tuesday night. The tour is a celebration of the singer’s July birthday as well as her, almost, three-decade career in the entertainment industry which spans across film, music, dance, and television.
click to enlarge The It's My Party: The Live Celebration Tour touched down at Houston's Toyota Center Tuesday. - PHOTO BY MICHAEL AMICO
The It's My Party: The Live Celebration Tour touched down at Houston's Toyota Center Tuesday.
Photo by Michael Amico
The show is a culmination of all of that work. There were video interludes where J Lo plays the part of a mob boss like character making party requests. There were finalists and winners from her reality competition series, World of Dance, performing as opening acts and as members of the backup dancers throughout the show. Not to mention Lopez has a string of hits which showcase her own dancing and musical ability. The singer's acting career was basically launched because of Texas and the she paid homage to that fact Tuesday night.

“I love Texas. I love Houston. We're in Texas so we got to do it for Selena!” she yelled as the sold-out crowd in the Toyota Center got to their feet. Lopez looked back at her band and laughed. “They’re wondering what song I going to do. Let’s do Si Una Vez.”

Lopez lifted her arm and gave the same pose Selena, the iconic Texas singer she portrayed in the late '90s biography, started with in her well documented live performance at the Astrodome. The audience shouted as the band played the first two notes and stopped.

“We’re gonna do it like Selena,” exclaimed Lopez as the music started again, playing over the roaring crowd.

The show didn’t just focus on Lopez’s career but also her personal life as the singer stopped to highlight what she has learned getting to this point in life.

“People like to ask me questions now that I’ve been doing this so long. What do you want to leave the people with? What is your advice? 
click to enlarge Lopez performs a duet with her daughter. - PHOTO BY MICHAEL AMICO
Lopez performs a duet with her daughter.
Photo by Michael Amico
"What are your secrets? What do you want your children to know?” she told the audience at one point as she stood center stage in a flowing burgundy dress. “I just want them to know that they can do anything.”

Moments later she is on her knees looking up at her daughter, Emme, as the two belted out the final notes to Limitless. Lopez choked back tears as her daughter, dressed in a matching red dress, held the note while backup dancers flanked the two of them.

Lopez was still only halfway done.

The show continued, running through more of the upbeat hits from her catalog like “Waiting For Tonight” and “On The Floor” and satisfyingly ending with an encore performance of “Let’s Get Loud”.
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Houston Press contributor DeVaughn Douglas is a freelance writer, blogger, and podcaster. He is 1/2 of the In My Humble Opinion Podcast and 1/1 of the Sleep and Procrastination Society. (That last one isn't a podcast; he just procrastinates and sleeps a lot.)