Pitbull & Enrique Iglesias Toyota Center October 19, 2014
At the beginning of his set last night at Toyota Center, Pitbull retold his life story on the immense video wall that towered over the stage. The words on the screen talked about his mother and her revolutionary tendencies, his crunk and reggaeton start in the music biz, and his current standing as "a walking television network." In short, he bills his life as the embodiment of the American Dream, one that he makes sure to celebrate at every opportunity.
With the combination of dazzling lights, exotic dancers and a wide smile, Pitbull hit the stage already cranked all the way up to the roof. With his black suit and oversized shades, he charmed the bra and panties off the ladies in the crowd, shouting "dalé" and gyrating his hips up and down and all over the somewhat phallic-shaped stage.
"Houston has always showed me love and support throughout my entire career" he thanked the crowd. "Or as y'all say around here...Awwwready!"
He opened with a trio of tracks about dancing, love, partying, and the love of doing each of those things. "Dont' Stop the Party," "International Love" and "Dance Again" made for an energetic workout that saw every fan in the building jump to his or her feet to dance along. "I'm just getting warmed up, Papo!" he raps.
One of the cool updates to this tour were the intros he used before each new track. Using the rock and rap music he grew up with, Pit jammed with his band before diving back into his own material. He also gave props to the seemingly endless list of collaborators he has worked with over the years, be it JLO, Marc Anthony, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, Shakira, and many more.
"No matter who you are and what color you may be, we are all here repping for the USA!" he proclaimed. And that's one of the appeals of Armando Pérez...his music is for the world. From the hits from early in his career such as "Culo" and "Mentirosa" up to his current pop-party anthems, it's all about having fun in the most fun and sexiest way possible.
Now, we would have been content with just the Pitbull show, but up next was another Latin playboy from Miami. Love, sex, and performing is literally in Enrique Iglesias' genes. His father Julio is an OG in the love-ballad game, conquering hearts since the seventies. Enrique himself is celebrating almost 20 years in music.
A singer with the looks of a telenovela star, Enrique is a wild man onstage and on the mike, whose sex appeal comes from his free-spirited attitude and supreme connection with the fans. There isn't a stage barrier that Enrique hasn't scaled over, no security guard that he hasn't pissed off. For Enrique, a show is not a show unless he jumps into the crowd or brings his fans onstage. Last night was no exception.
During the mini-set of Spanish-language hits such as "El Perdedor" and "Loco," he selected a rather hefty dude to join him on the B-stage at the far end of the arena. The guy's name was Jose, and judging by the amount of selfies he continuously took, he was overjoyed to be there. Enrique invited him to drink shots of tequila with him, and then proceeded to sing the classic Ben E. King track "Stand By Me." It was sweet and funny and heartfelt all at the same time.
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From "Bailamos" to "Bailando," Enrique gave his fans every track they wanted, from slow ones to fast, lovely to raunchy. The night ended with "I Like It," which saw Pitbull come out for one last encore.
Two dudes having fun as they travel the world making people dance. What a beautiful dream come true.
Personal Bias: My first high-school girlfriend was obsessed with Enrique Iglesias. I must have listened to his debut album about a million times. Oh, and I almost died at a Pitbull concert once, so there's that.
The Crowd: A fashion show of short skirts, high heels and eardrum-piercing yelling.
Overheard In the Crowd: "I'm not gonna cry, I don't wanna cry...oh my God, I'm gonna cry!"
Random Notebook Dump: The arena cameramen probably had the best night of their career last night -- the majority of their shots were of Pitbull's voluptuously gorgeous dancers!
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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