If you were to ask anyone who knows me personally whether they could picture me dancing and singing along to “International Love” in the middle of a big arena show, they’d call you crazy. I would have agreed with them. That is, until I found myself doing just that this past Thursday night (Oct.2).
I’ve always been a self-proclaimed country girl. I’ve seen countless artists such as Reba McEntire and George Strait live in concert. Any music outside of the country genre was foreign to me. That changed a little over a year ago when my friend Morgan introduced me to her love for Pitbull.
When she asked if I wanted to see him in concert, I couldn’t say no. How could I pass up two days off of work, a concert and road trip with my best friend? We purchased our tickets in May and I was officially going to my first “non-country” concert: Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias.
I “studied up” on Pitbull’s music. I created a playlist of his biggest singles and listened to them constantly over the summer. My family and friends were stunned with my new music choices, and I quickly knew every song by heart.
We had to wait five months for the show, but the day finally came. Heels on and makeup done, we were off to the Sprint Center for the show.
The Sprint Center in Kansas City is easily the biggest arena I’ve ever been in. Thousands of people invaded the Power and Light District to see the two artists in person. Looking around, we were shocked at the diversity of the crowd. Very young children and even the elderly were standing in line awaiting entrance to the show.
After waiting in line for what seemed like an eternity and passing through the metal detectors, we were in. We found our seats just as the opening act took the stage. The time was finally here; our long wait was over. I couldn’t believe how excited I was to see Pitbull live.
J Belvins was the opening act. Playing mainly to the Hispanic crowd, his three male dancers were the stars of the show. Half an hour for his performance was plenty, and it got us warmed up for Enrique Iglesias.
Oh Enrique. His pictures do him zero justice. Zero. All I can say about him is “wow.” With tight jeans, a simple t-shirt and a hat, he was mesmerizing on stage. Although it seemed like he was lip-syncing through a good part of his show, his rendition of “Stand By Me” brought the crowd to its feet. He chose a Hispanic gentleman from the crowd to join him on stage for a shot of tequila. Three shots in and a swig from the bottle, this poor man could barely stand, but taking shots with Enrique Iglesias is the chance of a lifetime.
His hour-long performance was flawless, complete with his hit song “Hero.” He left the stage to a standing ovation, and it was time for the main event. It was time for Pitbull.
We had the perfect seats. Sitting up in the main section, right beside the stage jutting out into the middle of the arena, we could see everything. The lights dimmed, his music started, and it was time for the main event. Lights, strobes, smoke and more accompanied Pitbull on the stage. It was clear that this was going to be a show that the three of us wouldn’t soon forget.
I immediately took note of Pitbull’s stage presence. His engagement with the crowd was hard to miss. Welcoming the “blacks, whites and Hispanics,” he made sure everyone in his audience felt like they belonged and he gave praise to the United States.
Going into the show, I wondered how he was going to incorporate other artists that he has collaborated with into his show. Playing their voices, along with the music videos on the big screen behind his band, he sang his hits such as “Timber,” “Feel This Moment,” and more.
His hour and a half performance seemed like mere minutes, and before we realized it, Enrique Iglesias was joining him on stage for the final song, their hit single “I Like It.”
The show left us talking about it long after it was over. In the spare bedroom of her aunt’s house that night, Morgan and I couldn’t stop talking about how great it was. Although he left out a few of his hits, Pitbull put on one of the best concerts I have ever seen. For a girl who lives and breathes country music, that’s a big compliment.
I survived my first “non-country” concert. I got to experience one of the best performers in the business and have some great memories with my best friend and her sister. This country girl has new love for Armando Christian Perez, and, if ever given the opportunity to see him perform again, I would jump at the chance.
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