Latin superstars Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull brought their sound and sex appeal to Austin wrapping up their second worldwide tour, transforming the Frank Erwin Center into a massive downtown dance club. While the night presented four hours of flashy performance and heavy beats, the singers kept their fans in the spotlight.
Cuban threesome, Angeles, got the flow going with their high energy, choreographed performance. The audience – many clad in club-like dress – danced along to the syncopated rhythms, cheering with every suggestive move.
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Austin erupted in cheers as the virtual radio on the giant LED screen spanning the stage scanned the pseudo stations and stopped on their city as Enrique Iglesias opened with his latest single, “Súbeme La Radio.” Mutual love and energy between stage and fans remained all night as Iglesias performed with, and not just to the audience. The Spanish heartthrob danced his smooth moves along the catwalk that extended out into the audience from the stage, and that was where he spent a lot of the show playing up to and interacting with his audience as he’s well-known to deliver in his live performances.
Between dancing and singing, and a set full of high fives, handshakes, selfies and kisses with his fans in the front row, the entire stage show provided a high level of entertainment and setting complete with a light show, pyrotechnics, and smoke cannons. However, between that smoke and lights, it was apparent that Iglesias remained in the moment during his show, even at one point stopping to take in the roar of applause from the crowd in a touching moment of mutual respect. As the lights dimmed for an intimate acoustic set mid-way through the show, he continued to connect not only with those seated in front of the outreaching piers of the stage but brought the whole arena in for the performance. That radiating warmth that filled the vast space of the Erwin Center did not stop him from covering the entirety of the stage throughout the show, even moving with the band beyond the catwalk for a passionate ballad and dance for the very back of the crowd with backup singer, Celia Chavez.
In an even bigger act of being true to his fans, Iglesias invited one who he had met last year at the Latin Grammy Awards. He promised that he would bring the fan onstage at his next performance in the area, and did so for both a round of shots and to join him in the spotlight for a song. He told the San Antonio fan to forget about himself and be in the moment – a mantra he seems to hold for himself in his entire performance.
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The Texas dates of their Live! Tour had to be rescheduled earlier in the year due to the hurricane that ravished a majority of the coastal region. They vowed to wrap the tour back in the Lone Star State as they valued their fans and allowed them time to heal, and the turnout for this show proved they were willing to wait. He dedicated “Hero” to Texas, crooning it surrounded by a star-like sea of cellphone lights that truly were breathtaking. Enrique and the band rocked out the rest of the set as giant ‘EI’ balloons, and white confetti rained from the rafters onto the crowd.
A DJ took center stage as the crew changed the sets out, spinning club favorites and keeping the crowd on their feet before Pitbull took the stage. Mr. Worldwide himself rose onto the stage to Van Halen’s “Jump” as he turned out his suave style and moves unifying the club vibe with “Feel This Moment.” His performance remained a mixture of music mixed with motivational words. He reminisced about playing SXSW in his early years stating that on this day before Thanksgiving that there was indeed much to be thankful for. Pitbull kept the party going slamming out hit after hit joined by a troupe of sexy dancers flanking him onstage having an admittedly good time.
His set played out like a continuous party with inspirational pauses that spoke to his life’s struggles –how he, as he sings, turned the negative into a positive – and preached humanity through the unity of music to his fans with his solid advice. Austin joined Mr. 305 in a collective hook of “the roof is on fire” as the Miami rapper and his dancers lit the stage on fire in a booty-smacking conga line during “Fireball” before breaking into a medley of his hits from his early days – a memory of where he came from and how he has excelled through years of hard work. Knowing his own hardships he’d met and overcame in life, and he instructed the audience to escape in and enjoy his show, spelling out that mentality in “Time of My Life.” Pitbull told his fans to be different, be leaders, and teach people to do better – to just be real and help – before wrapping up the show with a song that he said meant the world to him – “Tonight.”
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Through his inspiration and motivation given to his fans during a stellar show – from both stars – Pitbull proved both a respectable artist and human being voicing positivity and change through the music that so universally binds us. A shower of red and white confetti engulfed the crowd once more as the lights went up and they were sent off into a night they will truly remember.