Views on pop culture through my eyes

Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias in Concert
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Staples Center

Special guest: Frankie J

Songs performed: Tonight (I’m Loving You), I Like How it Feels, Dirty Dancer, No Me Digas Que No, Bailamos, Stand By Me, Ring My Bells, Hero, Be with You, Escape, I Like It, Tonight (I’m Fucking You)  (Enrique Iglesias); Get Right, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, I’m into You, Waiting for Tonight, Goin’ In, I’m Real/All I Have/Ain’t It Funny, Jenny from the Block, Baby I Love You (video), Hold It Don’t Drop It, If You Had My Love, Until it Beats No More, Let’s Get Loud, Papi, On the Floor, Dance Again, Follow the Leader (w/ Wisin & Yandel) (Jennifer Lopez)

Comments: Latin pop royalty Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez played to a packed house at Staples Center. Both are coming off good years as far as their careers are concerned. This is definitely one of the hottest shows you will see this year.J Lo and Enrique Tour 2012

Opening act Frankie J was decent. He replaced previously announced act, Wisin & Yandel, who backed out of the tour due to concerns about set length. He did a cover of Extreme’s “More Than Words.” And sang a new song in Spanish.

Enrique Iglesias was up next. I had seen Enrique before back on the “Escape” tour as well as meeting him at an autograph signing. He has improved his stage presence since I last saw him. He was running around the stage and working the crowd. He picked a guy out of the crowd and sang with and to him on Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” He said it was the first song he loved to sing when he was a kid. Turns out the guy was gay and liked another guy in the audience. They also took a shot of rum before the song (the brand that Enrique shills for “Atlantico”). “I Like How it Feels” another recent collaboration with Pibull was played as well as the album track “Ring My Bells” from his flop “Insomniac” album. He must like Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” because they played an extended intro to “Be With You” that featured that song. For “Hero”, he was on a small stage on the opposite side of the main stage. He pulled a girl out of the crowd to sing to her. Turns out she was married, but she had  a ”Hall Pass” for the night, and kept hugging him. Enrique wanted the crowd to surround the stage more, but Staples security was not letting that happen, despite a few pleas from Enrique. They had the disco ball overhand for lighting. Behind the main stage were 3 large horizontal video screens, which displayed graphic elements to highlight the songs. There were a lot of lasers and smoke effects during his show. He shot off confetti cannons during the “Escape” number. I wish he had done “Rhythm Divine,“ but he didn’t that night. Usher was shown on video for the duet of “Dirty Dancer.” “I Like It” was the highlight of his set.  And they launched a bunch of big balloons for the crowd to bounce around during “I Like It.” I am glad that he sang the dirty version of ‘Tonight (I’m Loving You).” That is the version I am more familiar with. I had to laugh when I saw a little girl with a homemade sign coming into the venue that had “Enrique” in a big heart, with the words on the outside of the sign saying “Tonight, I’m Loving You.” Did the parents not know about the dirty version? He is a solid entertainer for sure…. But he’s got nothing on Jennifer. Remember how Enrique was going to tour with Britney Spears in 2011, but said he didn’t want to be anyone’s opening act? He was this time for Jennifer.

I have waited a long time to see Jennifer Lopez in concert. It has been 10 years since “On the 6”. She has always had a lot going on: spokesperson, American Idol judge, model, actress, dancer, wife, fashion designer, you name it. It was worth the wait. I always felt that if she committed to a career as a singer, she would be a big success. Having Enrique on the bill didn’t hurt her, but I am sure for a lot of people she was the bigger draw. This was an event, something you couldn’t miss. And I am glad I didn’t miss it. She has only come in concert once before that I know — with then husband Marc Anthony. And with the help of “AI” and a new record label, she was able to have one of the biggest albums of her career with “Love?”.

A curtain was brought down before her set. It had an art deco look to it, like something out of old Hollywood. Then guys dressed in tails, top hats and canes came out doing a song and dance like in a Hollywood musical. The curtain lifted, showing the reworked stage after Enrique that featured a central staircase, and several smaller staircases on the sides. Jennifer rose up from the ground, wearing a beaded outfit and big fuzzy hat. She then launched into “Get Right”. Her and the dancers made use of the canes during the dance routine. One of her older hits was next with “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” The tempo slowed some for her duet with Little Wayne via video for “I’m Into You.”

“Waiting for Tonight” had Jennfer crawling on the floor like in the video. As well as some dancing on some sort of designer living room space with white couches and polls to spin on. I saw the number on YouTube again, and it definitely had a busy club vibe to it. As well as the use of lasers too. Fireworks and smoke effects were also used during the show.

During the costume change, there was a boxing ring set up, with a fight going on. The video had messages about J. Lo making a comeback and being a fighter. When she emerged, she had on a boxing robe with a hoodie. She took off the robe revealing track pants, a bustier with a blinged out cap. “Going In” her high-energy collaboration with Flo Rida was the first song in this segment of the show. The male dancers (dressed as boxers) with their shirts off, danced with her on the smaller stage in the middle of the arena. She went back to her early days for a medley of songs from her hip-hop influenced records. So there was her collaborations with Ja Rule (I’m Real), LL Cool J (All I Have), and Ja Rule & Caddillac Tah (Ain’t It Funny) as well as “Jenny from the Block.”

A new video of “Baby I Love U”, a song from her ‘This is Me… Then” album was shown (during a costume change), showing her and her boyfriend, Casper Smart, both dressed in black, and moving their hands a lot towards and around each other. So she repurposed a song that was written when she was in love with Ben Affleck.

The biggest surprise of the night was her song “Hold It Don’t Drop it” from her flop album “Brave.” She sang it as part of the J. Lo “Rock and Soul Review.” They showed a record spinning in the background, and the backup dancers looked like something out of old Motown. (Berry Gordy was in the audience according to Jennifer). J Lo herself looked a bit like Tina Turner during this number, and she even did the famous James Brown cape routine too.  It was a very fun, high-energy number. But the people around me were like, huh? They weren’t familiar with the song.

And on-stage costume change provided by her backup dancers, allowed her to transform her outfit from the Rock and Soul review into an evening gown. She reworked her first single “If You Had My Love” into an acoustic ballad. She has always believed in love, even if it has not always worked out for her. This was followed by one of her new songs “Until it Beats No More” with images of her children playing on the screen.

After getting the crowd into a screaming contest, ladies vs. guys. She sang a song for all the “Papis” in the crowd. Another smash from the “Love?” album that was featured in the Fiat commercials. All the men were shirtless at this point, something for the ladies and all the gay men too. The crowd was very diverse at the show — a wide age range, from kids to grandparents, all races too. Lots of women and gay men of course.

“Let’s Get Loud” was given a bit of a Vegas feel, with dancers carrying big feather fans. And a bit of Hollywood flash too.

“On the Floor” brought the crowd back to the dance floor. A red velvet throne was on the stage, with J Lo sitting on it in control of the minions (dancers). She brought out all the show-stopping moves she is famous for during this number. Interestingly, she sang the intro to it in Spanish.

For the finale, they showed a video intro with Jennifer talking about love. The song started and it was “Dance Again.” Her boyfriend came out and did the big dance routine with her from the video — looking hot with his shirt off and buzz cut. He is a choreographer on the tour, but came out to dance with his lady.

The last song brought out Wisin & Yandel for their collaboration on “Follow the Leader.” I heard that the split from the tour was amicable… they have worked together before, and with Enrique too. So it was nice to see the rumors of bad feelings weren’t true.

A little surprised that she didn’t have some sort of movie montage during the costume changes. I also wish we could have had Jennifer and Enrique do at least one number together. Maybe “Can I Have This Kiss Forever?” (his duet with Whitney Houston) or “No Me Amos” (her duet with Marc Anthony). Imagine them doing “Tonight (I’m Fucking You)” as a duet, but Casper Smart (her love) and Anna Kournikova (his love) would probably object to that.

Thanks, Jennifer and Enrique for a fantastic summer concert. Jennifer, you are a superstar and it shows. You had the crowd dancing and singing along for your entire show. You proved that you are a force to be reckoned with, and we should never count you out.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and Real Kilt Men Go Commando. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

 

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Comments on: "J Lo and Enrique: Latin Pop Royalty" (3)

  1. Marcelo Castilho Rogedo said:

    Hello Daniel. Nice article as always. I know a few songs by Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias. I think it is interesting the idea of putting two artists together. J. Lo…I remember when I was younger dancing Waiting for Tonight at the gay disco. Ages ago!! If You Had My Love also was a greatest hit here. If I had money to buy only one CD…I’d get her CD. Comparing them, I think her kind of music sounds better for me. But I enjoy his sound too. And he is a candy perfume boy, dont you agree? J. Lo performed here and the audience complained saying that she was not actually singing….but this is just a comment, not part of this article. Both are great artists. If they werent they wouldnt be in the spotlight for so many years……

  2. guy.hubbard@att.net said:

    Good review, Dan. I’m saving this one as a reminder of a terrific evening. Thanks.

  3. […] Music From concert reviews (Madonna, J Lo, Lady Gaga and more) to lists of hunks in country and pop music, to favorite Christmas albums — […]

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