Atlantic City Review
source: The Press of Atlantic City
February 17, 2004
Despite illness, Iglesias woos crowd at the Taj
By SCOTT CRONICK For The Press, (609) 272-7017
ATLANTIC CITY - If you go to a store for vanilla ice cream, you expect to get vanilla ice cream. The 5,000 people who filled Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort's Mark G. Etess Arena Sunday for Enrique Iglesias expected vanilla pop, and that's what they got.
The world's best-selling Latin artist made his Atlantic City debut more than an hour late after some booing chants, but once the dynamic performer ripped into "The Way You Touch Me," all was forgotten.
It turned out that the singer almost never took the stage at all. He arrived late at the Taj, suffering from fatigue, a sore throat and other ailments. After a call to his doctor, some medication and a long vocal warm-up, the show began and, believe me, no one knew there was anything wrong.
Iglesias played a short but appreciated set. His 15 songs lasted approximately 75 minutes, but judging by the sounds of the screaming crowd, everyone from his devoted Latin fans to children and senior citizens was impressed.
He performed with a talented six-piece band and an even more talented trio of backup singers. His set list spanned his career and included tunes like "Per Amarti" from his 1995 Spanish debut to his smash crossover hits like "Bailamos," "The Rhythm Divine," "Hero" and "Be With You."
Iglesisas' strong stage presence is undeniable. Dressed in tight leather pants, a white T-shirt and a knit cap, the 28-year-old sensation induced roars from his crowd with just a slight swivel of his hips.
Although he's been accused in the past of lip-synching, Iglesias' voice Sunday night was genuine and impressive. His sexy ballads, including the Latin-fused "Love to See You Cry," "Hero" and "Mentiroso," show why he's adored around the world. Although Iglesias is on tour to promote his latest CD "7," he only performed two songs, "The Way You Touch Me" and the single "Addicted." Oddly enough, he didn't even perform his current single "Not in Love," which features Kelis on the CD and video.
Songs aside, the show - the first nonrock production sponsored by Jersey Shore Entertainment - was a spectacle. A huge stage was equipped with three ramps into the crowd, a large video screen projected images of the star, and a light show was off the hook. The energized Iglesias danced throughout the show, but it was a sexy duet with a backup singer to "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," complete with butt grabbing and simulated kissing, that got the crowd pumped up.
There were some off moments in the show when Iglesias pulled two couples out of the crowd to sit on a couch while he sang two ballads. It took the momentum out of the show.
Despite his vanilla tunes, the Latin pop star gets this critic's respect for putting on a solid show. Judging by the response of the crowd and the box office receipts, he'll be back. If he was this good with the flu, imagine what he'll be like at 100 percent health.
To e-mail Scott Cronick at The Press:
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