Volume 96, Issue 14
Friday, September 20, 2002

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Enrique: he's latin-licious

By Niru Somayajula
Gazette Staff

What do you think of when Enrique Iglesias comes to your mind?

My first impression was pure hunka, hunka, latin lover who made it big by means of his father Julio Iglesias's reputation combined with mainstream Spanish-based pop.

I put this impression to the test this past Monday night when I experienced Enrique Iglesias live at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

While the male population was about as prevalent as you'd expect at Lilith Fair, I was wedged between women ranging in age from early teens to senior citizen status. The shrills echoing through the ACC represented about four decades of latin lovin' women.

Despite an unexciting opening act not even worth mentioning, the second Enrique stepped onto stage, the crowd was alive.

I was more than slightly skeptical about how the concert was going to turn out. The concert contained all the trappings of a big name performer: big venue, scantily clad women, big sets and an absurd amount of glowsticks. Yet, Enrique's presence on stage rivals most mainstream performers; jumping about the stage shakin' his ass was one of the many highlights of the evening.

The show started off with a few popular hits, including "Don't Turn Out the Lights" and "Bailamos," as Enrique alternated between dance hits and more mellow songs. Impressive acoustic Spanish songs were also played, as well as a childhood favourite of Enrique, "Stand By Me."

Another interesting cover Enrique included in his show was "Purple Rain" by Prince. The stage magically turned purple and his backup singers were out in full force.

The famous duet originally sung with Whitney Houston, "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," brought out one of Enrique's back-up singers and added a theatrical element which had the women screaming in their seats.

Traditionally during concerts, Enrique pulls a fan from the audience onto the stage. What I thought was going to be a hot, little number in her mid-teens ended up being a married woman in her mid-30s. Enrique promptly told her to "forget she was married for four minutes," at which point he launched into "Hero," caressing the woman the whole time [insert ear-piercing screams here].

To say Enrique's show was a musical masterpiece would be a lie – the music was catchy, as most mainstream music is, but, the show itself was better than I had ever imagined.

Sure, it had fancy props, glitter and dancers, but it also had an unexpected diverse charisma and Enrique, just like his father, charming the crowd into complete submission.

Olé.

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