Marc Anthony, Marco Antonio Solis, and Chayanne
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Saturday, August 4
Better Than: Reality television for relationship drama.
The three Gigantes who sold out two of three shows at the American Airlines Arena this weekend delivered a whopping 36 songs in three and a half hours. And every single song was a love song.
Middle-age heartthrobs Marc Anthony, Marco Antonio Solis, and Chayanne crooned about the delirium of new love; all the bittersweet lost loves; and best of all, those loves that leave you, only to regret it later.
Those songs were particularly poignant for salsa star Anthony, still stinging from a break-up with his most recent wife, Jennifer Lopez.
But it was Marco Antonio Solis who opened the show. A Mexican institution since forming the popular band Los Bukis as a teenager in the '70s, Solis is probably the biggest "giant" in terms of record sales. But not around these parts: Miami's fans turned out to see his Puerto Rican costars.
No matter ... Solis gave the crowd a leisurely 11-song set that lasted for more than an hour. He chatted about relationships and even did a little stand-up: "What do smart men and dinosaurs have in common? They're both extinct."
He seemed a little crowded at the foot of a massive staircase set up to accomadate three separate bands, with all their musical instruments, to say nothing of four buxom backup dancers who came out in everything from showgirl tails to cowboy hats and chaps. The crowd sang along to his hits, old and new, and gave him a warm, standing ovation when he was finally through.
Less than five minutes after Solis disappeared down an elevator at the back of the staircase, Chayanne rose up, all butch in tight black jacket and jeans.
He was the hardest worker of the three, sweating through several costume changes along with four female and four male back-up dancers. He alternated between fast dance numbers that all had the words "Baila, baila" in them and slow heartfelt ballads that disappeared as soon as he sang them.
He obligingly stepped out on the speakers to take the hands of adoring fans and pointed his finger at the everyone in the arena, seemingly one by one, telling us all that he'd fallen in love with us.
But it was Marc Anthony who ruled the night, his voice setting the arena atremble. His frame is so slight that the power of his vocal instrument is even more remarkable. (Amusingly, concert posters were doctored to make all three singers look the same height, even though Anthony is at least six inches shorter than Chayanne.)
And for emotional drama, the four trombones in Anthony's orchestra beat the droning keyboards used by his peers.
That drama was heightened by the subtext of Anthony's tabloid-worthy breakup with J.Lo. His set list was heavy on the you're-gonna-regret-it numbers.
During one delicious moment in "Hasta Ayer" ("Until Yesterday"), he nodded his head cheekily after delivering the lines: "I found out you had another lover/And maybe with time/You'll do to him what you did to me." Ouch.
But while he's waiting for J.Lo to come crawling back, Anthony's taking other precautions. Of course, J.Lo was a dancer before she became a singer, and she left Anthony for a dancer in her own show.
So while there were dancers swarming the stage earlier in the night, there weren't any at all when Anthony took the stage. And when he closed his part of the show with "Tu Amor Me Hace Bien" ("Your Love Is Good for Me"), he changed that little shout out at the end from "Lolita" (his pet name for J.Lo) to "Mamita."
Finally, the three Gigantes came together during the encore, pitching in on each other's hits. Each took a verse on Anthony's "Dimelo" ("I Need to Know"). Then they went into full competition mode with Solis's "Dónde Esta Mi Primavera" ("Where Is My Springtime").
Solis started off quietly, then was blown away by Anthony on the next verse. Even Chayanne turned on the power when it was his turn. Not to be outdone, Solis took back the microphone and blew the arena away. Then he was done. Neither Solis nor Anthony bothered to sing along with Chayanne in "Fiesta en America" ("Party in the USA"). But that's okay. The crowd sang along just fine.
Personal Bias: I have heard Chayanne's music for more than a decade, and I have even seen him live in the past. But I could not recall a single one of his songs before last night's concert. And I still can't. Just doesn't stick.
The Crowd: Mostly in the 40s-to-50s range, the same age as the singers, and dressed to impress: men in suits with snazzy shirts and the ladies in tight pants, dresses, and killer heels. Any concert t-shirts sold were tossed over shoulders or tucked into handbags.
Overheard in the Crowd: "My grandma loves Chayanne!" -- A 19 year old in the audience.
Marco Antonio Solis's Setlist
- "No Puedo Olvidarla" ("I Can't Forget Her")
- "Si Te Pudiera Mentir" ("If I Could Lie to You")
- "Morenita" ("Brown Girl")
- "Mi Eterno Amor Secreto" ("My Eternal Secret")
- "Tu Me Vuelves Loco" ("You Drive Me Crazy")
- "Tu Carcel" ("Your Prison")
- "El Milagrito" ("Little Miracle")
- "O Me Voy O Te Vas" ("Either You Go or I Do")
- "A Donde Vamos a Parar" ("Where Will It End?")
- "Mas Que Un Amigot" ("More Than a Friend")
- "Si No Te Hubieras Ido"
- "Baila, Baila" ("Dance, Dance")
- "Dejaría Todo" ("I'd Give Up Everything")
- "El Centro de Mi Corazón" ("The Center of My Heart")
- "Y Tu Te Vas" ("And You're Leaving")
- "Un Siglo Sin Ti" ("A Century Without You")
- "Tu Boca" ("Your Mouth")
- "Si Nos Quedara Poco Tiempo" ("If We Only Had a Little Time Left")
- "Me Enamore de Ti" ("I Fell in Love with You")
- "Torero" ("Bullfighter")
- "Provócame" ("Provoke Me")
Marc Anthony's Setlist
- "Valió la Pena" ("It Was Worth It")
- "Hubo Alguien" ("There Was Someone")
- "Hasta Ayer" ("Until Yesterday")
- "Vivir Lo Nuestro" ("To Live Our Love")
- "Cómo Es El" ("What's He Like")
- "No Hay Nadie Como Ella" ("There's Noone Like Her") *Duet with Chayanne
- "Mi Gente" ("My People")
- "Yo Que Te Conozco Bien" ("I Who Know You Well")
- "Tu Amor Me Hace Bien"
Gigantes's Encore Set
- "Dimelo" ("I Need to Know")
- "Dónde Está Mi Primavera" ("Where Is My Springtime")
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- "Fiesta en America"
-- Celeste Fraser Delgado