Ricky Martin’s RodeoHouston Debut Gets Fans’ Bon-Bons Shaking

The King of Latin Pop, Ricky Martin
The King of Latin Pop, Ricky Martin Photo by Jennifer Lake
Ricky Martin
NRG Stadium
March 4, 2022

From the very beginning of Friday night’s show at NRG Stadium, Ricky Martin made it abundantly clear that he was going to make the most of his RodeoHouston debut.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concerts only last an hour, and that can be tricky for an established artist like the King of Latin Pop, who has 10 studio albums to his name. Such a setting demands an abridged set, full of crowd-pleasing anthems.

Luckily, the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter didn’t disappoint.

While many artists prefer to save their biggest hits for the end of their performances, Martin instead set the tone early by launching into “Livin’ La Vida Loca” before the smoke from the pre-show fireworks had even cleared.

Donning a flowing black jacket, the 50-year-old displayed the swagger of a star half his age, whipping fans into a frenzy as the word RICKY flashed on the screens above and behind him.

Before the crowd had a chance to catch its breath, Martin segued into “La Bomba,” a long-time fan-favorite that likens getting lost in the rhythm of a song to the effects of alcohol. True to its lyrics, it proved too tempting for anyone in attendance to resist.
click to enlarge
Ricky and his supporting cast
Photo by Jennifer Lake
Wardrobe changes abounded, with Martin eventually dressing in an all-white outfit that would have been appropriate for a beach wedding. While the man of the hour was changing, backup dancers, a brass section and a group of drummers took turns keeping everyone’s hips moving.

About halfway through the show, things finally slowed down for “Vuelve,” the title track from Martin’s fourth studio album and the first song for which he won a Grammy Award. With the crowd subdued, Martin thanked everyone in attendance for their enthusiasm and expressed his gratitude for being invited to celebrate Latin culture in Houston.

The calm was short-lived, however, and four more catchy hits closed out the evening – “Pegate,” “Maria,” “Vente Pa’ Ca” and “La Copa De La Vida.”

Before the show ended, Martin asked the audience to acknowledge his fellow musicians onstage, adding, “Without them, there is no music. And without music, there is no life.”

Amen, Ricky.

Livin’ La Vida Loca
La Bomba
Lola, Lola
She Bangs
Shake Your Bon-Bon
Vente Pa’ Ca
La Copa De La Vida
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever