Pitbull, Prince Royce
July 23, 2016
If there's one thing I truly love in this world, it's eating a good plate of tacos, from the warm earthiness of the tortilla to the juicy and flavorful meat filling, topped off with a spicy and perfectly complementary green salsa. There's very little not to like about tacos. When I go to my favorite taqueria or hit up the taco truck on the corner, I know what I'm going to expect, and even then I'm pleasantly satisfied when I'm done. Its just that good!
Armando Christian Pérez is like a good plate of tacos, even though he's not Mexican. He's actually a Cuban-American from Miami, Florida who has evolved from the Miami Bass sound, been adopted by the Crunk movement, and is now in a class of his own as Mr. Worldwide. His show features energy, lyricism, passion, beautiful dancers, inspiration, sensuality, music history and humor. And although I've seen this same exact show on several occasions (three times at the Rodeo, twice at Toyota Center with Enrique Iglesias, two previous times at The Woodlands, and earlier this year at the NCAA Final Four Fan Fest), you can't help but to leave a Pitbull concert satisfied.
Moments before Mr. 305 hit the stage, the crowd was treated to a warm up set by Houston's very own Anthony Villarreal, aka DJ Playboy of the Booth Pimps and the regional rep for DJCity.com, who also mixes for both Hot 95.7 and Pitbull's Globalization Sirius/XM radio channel 4. He credits Pitbull's hustle and drive as two of the biggest reasons for his success. So when he received the call from the tour to open a few stops, he jumped to the opportunity. From Selena to Proyeto Uno, Elvis Crespo to the Mariachi song Playboy kept the crowd's energy level high and ready to greet the headliner. Much props for his hard work and excellent set.
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I really was hoping for something different from Pitbull this time around, anything to surprise me and keep me on my toes. But when the notes of Phil Collins' classic "In The Air Tonight" rang out, and Pit's life story was projected on the video screens, I knew it was the same show as before. "Here we go again" I thought to myself. And even then, I knew I was in for a fun and exciting night. Again....tacos.
I was also impressed with the energy in the crowd. It was a nonstop dance party all night, with fans young and old up out of the seats jumping, gyrating and getting their cardio in for Pitbull's entire set. That definitely has a direct correlation to the headliner's own output. As I've written about in the past, Pit's suits end up being drenched in sweat at every single show, a product of the incessant movement and energy he generates as he runs through his seemingly unlimited litany of hit singles.
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And although he's always been a proponent and tremendous supporter of immigrant rights, he took extra time to focus some attention to the current political climate in this nation. "This country was built by immigrants" he shouted joyfully. "We are all the United States of America, and we should stay united, not divided!"
So, How Was the Opener? I've only every seen Prince Royce once, and that was in Philadelphia at the inaugural Made In America Festival in 2012. Back then he was a baby-faced kid who wow'd the crowd with his charming good looks and golden voice. He still holds on to both of those attributes today, but with a little more arrogance, a man bun, and an eye for fashion. He did wow the crowd with an awesome cover of "Earned It" by The Weeknd, which had most of the females in the crowd melting in their seats. He also took time to interact with many of his fans, taking selfies with the whole front row, then bringing one lucky fan onstage with him to serenade her. Great choice for an opening act, and a good mix of bachata to keep things interesting.
When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Marco points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond. You can follow his adventures on Instagram: @MarcoFromHouston.