Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull
With J Balvin and the Jump Smokers
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Better Than: Staying home "Bailando" to YouTube videos and listening to your drunk friend talk shit.
The Sex and Love playboy may have been joking... pero, bro, was he right.
Last night, the American Airlines Arena turned into the biggest block party in downtown MIA when the Spanish heartthrob, Pitbull, J Balvin, and the Jump Smokers got lose for a sold-out crowd of sugar daddies with hot mamis, bros in snapbacks, MILFs, and abuelas.
Photo by Sayre Berman
By the time we had arrived at the AAA, up-and-coming Colombian reggaetonero J Balvin, joined by his buddy Farruko, was getting the arena juiced up with his hit single, "6 AM."
"¿Donde están los latinos de esta noche?" J Balvin asked the crowd as they anxiously waited for Pit to take the stage.
With an energy that lit up the entire arena, J Balvin could have easily carried the show on his own. After a 30-minute set, the party boy gave his thanks to Enrique and Pitbull, and to "all of [us]", and fist pumped his way off the stage.
Then it was the Jump Smokers' time to shine. Hailing all the way from Chicago, the Chi-town DJs knew just how to get 20,000 Miami fans hyped up for Mr. 305. Spinning an array of bass-infused pop songs from Icona Pop to Magic!, their set was like a Power 96 mix on steroids.
After nearly a half hour, the DJ duo gave their thanks to the headliners, and left the nearly impatient crowd ready for Pit.
At around 8:30 p.m., the lights went black. Giant letters spelling "Mr. Worldwide" were displayed on the screen right above the stage.
As if Armando Christian Pérez needed an intro in his hometown, a Star Wars-like video bio of that chico Pit played in the background. Dancers wearing short red pea coats teased their way towards center stage to the beat of the 1990 romcom Pretty Woman theme song.
In a matter of seconds, the ladies stripped off their coats as Pitbull popped up from underneath the stage in a black suit and matching shades and got the pachanga started with "Don't Stop the Party" and his world famous, "oooohhheeee!"
Before giving the 305 a proper welcome, everyone in the entire arena was screaming at the top of their lungs and shaking their "Culo" as Pitbull went on to perform some of his fairly recent hits.
"Everyone reppin' Miami throw your hands in the air!" he demanded.
And the crowd did just that.
Now, Pitbull may be one of the most successful Cubanitos on the planet, but when it comes to music, he hasn't released any solo material since he became Mr. Worldwide. So the only way to properly put on a concert was with the help of music video clips and pre-recorded vocals.
Sure, there were times it felt as if we were watching YouTube videos in 3D, but Pit made it work, particularly with the live drummer and guitarist on stage, and rock fillers in between songs. He definitely kept his fans on their toes and his Miami pride in check.
Photo by Sayre Berman
"I thank God for this beautiful city that gave me the opportunity to perform all over the world," Pitbull humbly smiled. "If there's one thing I've learned it's that music is so powerful. It's such a fucking honor to be in the city that I'd die for."
"We're gonna do a thing we used to do back in school. We're gonna do a roll call," he said.
"Where all the white folks at?"
A few cheers were heard in the crowd.
The cheers got even louder.
Our eardrums exploded.
"No matter what you rep, we all rep one thing: the United States of fucking America."
After playing more hits from the earlier part of the decade, Pitbull let his Magic City pride shine even brighter.
"Now, being a homegrown, born and raised, Dade county, 305 boy from back in the day, when Miami wasn't respected for its culture, for its people, for its music, we all know the struggle. The hustle. We all know sacrifice."
"But I'm gonna tell you what Miami does better than anyone -- we know how to survive."
"Hell yeah!" yelled a hardcore 305er from the crowd.
While Pitbull kept it real during his hour-and-a-half set, the best part of the night was when he took it back old school with a mash-up of his classics including "Shake," "Culo," and "I Know You Want Me."
Photo by Sayre Berman
"This is the part in the show that I talk about things I see in the arena," he interrupted. "But since we're in Miami, I'm gonna talk about the neighborhoods I grew up in."
"Cutler Ridge, South Miami, la saguesera Westchester, la Pequeña Habana, Opa-Locka, Hialeah."
Pitbull may have the blood of a true Miamian running through his veins, but that chico is all about the City of Progress.
"Agua, fango, y factoria, un poquito puteria, y tremenda chusmeria," he laughed.
For the rest of the night, Pit gave his fans a little bit of everything, from pep talks to new hits to his "street music" from back in the day. But one thing he kept on emphasizing was his gratitude towards his hometown.
"I used to perform on the corner of NW 7th Avenue and 79th Street," he recalled. "It's an honor to be able to perform at the AAA. It goes to show you that hard work pays the mother fuckin' off."
"Mr. Worldwide, checking in, checking out. God bless and good night. Dale!"
While Pit may have given his parting words to his beloved 305 crowd, the party was just getting started. After a 20 minute intermission, the arena went dark. Blue lights flashed from the stage. It was time for some Sex and Love.
As the music started, like Pitull, Iglesias popped up from underneath the stage. The freak was unleashed.
Wearing a burgundy tee, black skinny jeans, combat boots, and a baseball cap, Iglesias performed "I'm A Freak" off his latest album.
"Miami, make some noise!" he said as he leaped across the stage.
While Iglesias did a better job at entertaining than at singing, his band was his saving grace.
Photo by Sayre Berman
With nothing but the Spanish and electric guitar and a box drum, Iglesias' musicians performed a flawless intro to "Bailando" before the rest of the band and singer joined in.
Quick side note -- this was the second time I've seen Iglesias live, but never have I witnessed him as energetic as he was last night. Maybe he had a bit too much Atlantico backstage? Who knows. But this guy was bouncing from the stage to the floor, giving his fans the selfie of a lifetime and even a few kisses.
The most memorable part of the night, however, was when the show was taken to a smaller stage in the back of the arena.
"How are you doing South Florida?" Iglesias asked his fanáticos.
"Since I was a little kid, I would go to shows and think, 'Shit, the people in the back can't see anything.'"
The crowd cheered in agreement.
"I'm just so happy right now. I know it's Sunday and you have to work tomorrow, but fuck it. Get drunk and call in sick."
After performing "El Predador," which was originally recorded with Marco Antonio Solís, and "Loco," Iglesias' all-time "favorite," it was party time.
"Who wants to come up here with us?"
Everyone leaped out of their seat in hopes of being chosen.
"I said, who wants to come up here and drink with us!"
As he scoped the crowd, he pulled one lucky dude towards the podium and served him a shot.
"What are we drinking to?" Iglesias asked.
"La vida!" he responded.
This lucky dude was having the time of his life, taking shots with Iglesias and the band, and grabbing the mic as if he was starring in his own show. But la fiesta moved back to the main stage, and his 15 seconds of fame were over.
Photo by Sayre Berman
After several tracks from his 2011 Euphoria album, it was time for some more Sex and Love.
But of course, a 2014 Enrique Iglesias concert wouldn't be complete without a performance with Gente de Zona and "Bailando."
As the Cuban crew made their onstage cameo, the crowd get lost in the zone. Lots of hip thrusting, ass shaking, and bro love later, it was time for the show to come to an end.
The surprises, however, kept on rolling.
Right before Iglesias ended with his last song, "I Like It," Mr. Worldwide made his final appearance of the night. The pachanga was now complete.
As it rained confetti, Iglesias and Pit gave their thanks and claimed their love for the 305.
"We fucking love you, Miami!"
-"Don't Stop the Party"
-"Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)"
-"Rain Over Me"
-"Echa Pa'lla (Manos Pa' Arriba)"
-"Back In Time"
-"Turn Down For What (Remix)"
-"Shake"/"Culo"/"I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)"
-"On the Floor"
-"DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love"
-"Hotel Room Service"
-"Feel This Moment"
-"Give Me Everything"
Enrique Iglesias' Setlist
-"I'm A Freak"
-"Finally Found You"
-"Stand By Me" (Ben E. King cover)
-"Be With You"
-"Tonight (I'm Fucking You)"
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-"Bailando" featuring Gente de Zona
-"I Like It" featuring Pitbull