There has arguably been no bigger star in Latin pop music than Enrique Iglesias and the chart topping Spanish sensation showed just why when delivering a powerhouse performance to a sellout crowd of adoring fans at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, on Friday night.
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Being the youngest child of the legendary Julio Iglesias, he was always destined for fame, but instead of wallowing in his preordained music royalty he has gone on to forge a glittering career that has earned for him a legion of followers, multiple chart-topping hits and numerous awards.
Expectations are always extremely high for shows like an Iglesias concert and he bravely took up the challenge to entertain, and wow, Dubai’s mixed ethnicity from the very start of his two-hour gig.
The set-list was filled with chart-topping hits like I’m A Freak, I Like How It Feels, Bailamos and El Bano which had the audience screaming their hearts out and swaying to the infectious Latin rhythms.
“Dubai, are you having a good time!”, Iglesias called out at one stage. “I promise that we are going to put on a great show for you tonight. And if we don’t, you can ask for your money back.”
The crowed loved it and hungrily lapped up the vibe that would envelop The Pointe.
One of the highlights of the night was when Iglesias and his talented supporting cast of back-up singers, guitarists and percussionist performed an unplugged set right in the middle of the crowd.
You could see how happy he is doing what he does best. This was when he showed that he can be a proper, old-fashioned entertainer who knows how to please his audience, even when sometimes doing silly things, posturing or just staring for long spells into the mass of people.
Artists sometimes tread into a minefield of clichés, with what they say or do, but Iglesias skillfully demonstrated that he is an exception.
“I’ve written a lot of songs in my life, but most of them are mediocre But there are some great songs, songs I wish I wrote, like this one,” he said with genuine self-effacement, before singing an abridged version of Coldplay’s monster hit, Yellow.
It was weird and crazy how the fans reacted but it made the whole show more colourful and multi-dimensional. It was gold.
The pop-rock banger, Be With You, would follow along with another of his smash hits, Escape, and the crowd went wild. Really wild.
You would expect that Iglesias, after years of recording and touring, would have mellowed but here he was seemingly at the peak of his powers thumping out hit song after hit song.
And all along, he was just having fun, picking up fans from the audience and collaborating with them in a mini skit, all with a rare confidence, albeit if the security guards on duty were on tenterhooks. And I don’t blame them, given his reputation
Perhaps other than Robbie Williams, I don’t believe there is any other pop star quite as captivating and entertaining as Iglesias.
Hero, a soaring ballad that went to Number one in several countries, was delivered with the same confidence and panache as when he recorded it on the best-selling album, Escape.
Iglesias would swap his fitted black shirt for a more laid-back V neck white Tee shirt before returning to the stage to perform El Perdon and the smash hit, Bailando, the multi-platinum selling song from 2014’’s Sex and Love album.
The concert ended just like it began, with a bang and a mesmerizing version of I Like It, the hit he recorded with fellow Latin sensation, Pitbull.
It was a song that would stick in the heads of many of the 15,ooo fans, for a long time, It has for me.
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