Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Friday, August 31, 2012
Enrique puts on a spectacle of grand proportions while maintaining intimacy with the crowd and offering no props. This younger of the famous Iglesiases is a weird but typical breed of Miami man. He is (perhaps because of four years at FIU) a familiar form of bro. Eager for the crowd's approval and frustrated when not being worshipped by the arena of females, he enjoys being chummy, sucking down rum with complete strangers, and charming the pants off old ladies.
Now, J.Lo, she is basically a goddess.
She's tan, thick, healthy. She looks like someone's beautiful mom. Unlike most women in a butt-ton of makeup performing on the big stage in flashy Ice Capades ensembles, she never drifts into drag queen territory.
Back to Enrique ... He insisted again and again that we get our asses up out of our "fucking" chairs. Barely singing his most famous songs, he instead opted to encourage the mostly female crowd to worship at the altar of Iglesias by putting their hands in the air.
A full band and a few backup singers (a big Afro-wearing lady who cheesily slapped her own butt during a fake flamenco dance and a rapping dude in a fedora) picked up the slack. In fact, Afro lady sung the best part of "Bailamos." You know, at the end, when Enrique screams "Como te quiero!"
But the audience participation portion of the evening was the absolute highlight. The room went dark, and chairs came out to the soft sounds of an acoustic guitar. Would bongos follow? Or would there be a repeat of that odd instance in Australia when Enrique told a few dudes he'd brought onstage that his wee-wee was not big. Remember that? That was kinda what happened next.
The chairs set up in a half-circle gave the stage a living room feel. A few musicians played a song in Spanish. Then Enrique brought up two dudes from the audience to guzzle rum, sing terribly, strut down the catwalk, and generally be strange. One was a bedazzled, possibly straight old guy in a cowboy hat. Enrique remembered him from attending all of Enrique's shows -- last year in Miami, Dallas, Houston, Vegas, you get it. This obsessive was from Oklahoma. The other was a middle-aged Indian guy whose singing voice could kill living creatures. When Enrique poured the booze in his mouth, he almost barfed. It was awkward, cute, and stupid. I loved it.
But it was as though Enrique was Oprah. When Iglesias asked them if they were driving before they took the first shot and they said, "Yes," Enrique yelled, "Then I'll give you a ride home." And no shit, we really think he handed him car keys. And even more so, we think he was all, "You get a car, you get a car," because look at this photo with them in a freaking car together.
Enrique's told us that it wasn't staged, these were real randoms from the crowd. He swore on his mother's life -- she was in the crowd, probably delighted to hear her life meant that much to her handsome son. He sang "Stand By Me" in a weird falsetto, a song he said "literally" saved him when he was homesick at nine and had to move to Miami from Madrid.
There were lasers, smoke, a screensaver background, confetti, and some more hits like "Be With You." Then the man popped up at the back of the theater on a tiny stage and the crowd went into hysterics. He yelled at the American Airlines Arena security to lay off his hometown fans, encouraging fans to jump barricades. Fire codes be damned. He screamed, "Miami's my city! Best fucking city in the world!"
During "Hero," he brought up an older Colombian lady whose name sounded like "Nasty." They slow danced, and he said, "Nasty is nasty." Then he smooched her. She did a sexy dance for him as he put her hand on his butt and put his paw in her ass pocket. The crowd ate it up. It was probably the weirdest thing they'd ever seen. At the end, he offered to be her novio. Ay, que cute.
We can't decide if the crowd was there for Enrique or J.Lo. They all seemed to know this "Ole! Ole!" shit that Enrique did, but he was clearly the opening act. Jennifer Lopez came out in full '90s force with a sort of medley of her past hits. This bitch is fierce. She brought out songs we'd forgotten, but were glad to remember, like "All I have" and "Ain't That Funny."
She vacillated between singing and lip-syncing, which was totally forgivable. Because, like a good Fly Girl, Jennifer danced the shit out of that stage. It was like a full Vegas show with pyrotechnics and two live onstage dress changes. This is, like, something that you can't conceive of unless you see it. And even after seeing it, you still don't get the extent of its fabulousness.
And her dancers! It's no surprise that Ms. Lopez gets down with these dudes. They are godly works of art. They put on a full show with her too. At one point, a boxing ring appeared at the end of the catwalk, and they fake boxed while Jennifer walked around in a bikini, looking amazing. All of the things were glittering, from their crazy costumes to J.Lo's water bottle. They did B-52's-like dancing, and when their shirts came off ... Oof! Wonderful.
"Y'all ready to dance?" she said, transitioning into a gentle booty shake with a Lil Wayne-less "I'm Into You." Looking around, not too many people were dancing, except for a small group of gays to our right.
Then Flo Rida showed up like he does at almost every Miami concert. He's like salt, making everything taste a little better. But more importantly, Mary J. Blige was in the house! A spotlight revealed her sitting in the crowd and we all screamed.
Musically, there was a live band that added a little cheese to J.Lo's music. A slow version of "If You Had My Love" was wonderfully sweet. A terribly boring slideshow with her kids brought us all down. Thankfully, Flo Rida and some Latin songs livened things up. There was also a lame video full of terrible cliches: Love is a journey not a destination, you have to love yourself to truly love another. We get it, you're divorced.
But the best Jennifer Lopez lines of the night included: "It's not a party in Miami till somebody starts shaking their ass!" and "Where are my papis at?!"
All night we were looking for J.Lo's boyfriend, Casper Smart. And finally, he showed up and danced with her during, "Dance Again."
Ultimately, J.Lo and Enrique showed off their insecurities and strengths last night. And they were entirely and satisfyingly entertaining.
The Crowd: Mamis in heels, children obsessed with huge balloons, those weird dudes onstage, and a smattering of gays.
Deep Thought: Similar to his music, Enrique Igleasias is physically very attractive in a superficial way, then sort of horrifying on an intellectual level, and then actually completely addictive. When writing an article about him last year, I was like, Ugh, I have to listen to this? But days later, "Baby I Like It" still played in my head. And baby, I liked it (Fuck your "good taste."). He and his songs appeal to the animal part of our brains.
Personal Note, No. 1: Shannon from Down Under, call me. (This was J.Lo's hottie dancer that she introduced onstage)
Personal Note, No. 2: I bought these underwear and this T-shirt. Jealous?
Enrique Iglesias's Partial Setlist
-"No Me Digas Que No"
-"Stand By Me"
-"Be With You"
-"I Like It"
-"Tonight I'm Fucking You"
Jennifer Lopez's Partial Setlist
-"Love Don't Cost a Thing"
-"I'm Into You"
-"Waiting for Tonight"
-"All I have"
-"Ain't That Funny"
-"Jenny from the Block"
-"If I Had Your Love"
-"Whistle" (with Flo Rida)
-"Let's Get Loud"
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-"On the Floor"
-"Follow the Leader"