Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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To borrow Justin Timberlake’s overused lyrics (but it really does apply here), superstar singers Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez brought sexy back to Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday night in four hours of highly charged sets and choreography (complemented by LED screens above and behind the stage), hard bodies and electrifying, nonstop-energy dance hits that literally shook the music venue to its core.
Iglesias was up first, and based on the reaction of the audience’s women, who probably outnumbered the men 3-to-1, he could’ve sung from the phone book, and they still would’ve screamed more often than not during his sizzling 70-minute set. The Latin heartthrob kept it casual in a black cap, black T-shirt, blue jeans and worker’s boots; his costume change about eight songs into the night was taking off the black T-shirt to reveal … a white T-shirt.
Iglesias’ strong voice is often overshadowed by his looks and charisma; all three were on full display Saturday night. There was a somewhat odd extended bit with pulled-from-the-crowd J.Wrath, “Cleveland’s Vanilla Ice,” as Iglesias deemed him, as the guys shared shots and stage time; at the end, Iglesias bowed down to J.Wrath in admiration. Before launching into “Bells,” Iglesias quipped to the sold-out crowd, “Some of you will have to pay for sex tonight; some of you will not.”
After “Escape” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” in what seemed like his set’s end, confetti rained on Mandalay Bay Events Center like I’ve never seen before; it was practically a confetti snowstorm. Then Iglesias reappeared on a smaller stage at the opposite end of the stage for the night’s most touching moment: He brought a bride-to-be onstage, and eventually her fiance, and serenaded her with “Hero.” At one point, Iglesias and the visually moved woman embraced tightly and for a long time, leaving his fans green with envy.
Iglesias’ set list: “Tonight,” “I Like How It Feels,” “Dirty Dancer” (with Usher on the video screens), “No Me Diagas,” “Bailamos” (preceded by a lovely guitar intro), “Bells,” “Cuando,” “Don’t You Forget,” Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” (the song to which he learned English, he said), “Be With You,” “Escape,” “Hero,” “I Like It” and a reprise of “Tonight.”
After a 30-minute set change, it was time for the Puerto Rican diva to take the stage, and Lopez didn’t disappoint with an all-out spectacle of theatrics and videos. The staging, costumes (sparkling cat suits, feathers, tuxedos and top hats) and her hunky dancers (during “Papi,” they ripped off their tank tops, Chippendales style) definitely stood out, as did her beauty and the party atmosphere.
Lopez’s voice has never been her strong suit (she has two female backup singers who sometime overpower her), but the singer and actress makes up for it with her dancing (the ex-Fly Girl can dance, bitches!), sets (from Old Hollywood glamour to a boxing set -- her previously noted hunky backup dancers clad in only boxing trunks), costumes and “Jenny From the Block” persona -- at one point, she said, “I’m just a simple girl from the Bronx.” (Who’s now an A-list star and millionaire.)
Lopez’s set list: “Get Right,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “I’m Into You,” “Waiting For Tonight,” a hip-hop medley of “I’m Real,” “All I Have,” “Ain’t It Funny” and “Jenny From the Block,” “Baby I Love You” (a video with 25-year-old dancer boyfriend Casper Smart, who joined her for an onstage dance duo toward the end, him shirtless), “Let’s Get Loud,” “Papi,” “On the Floor” and, for her encore, “Dance Again.”
Frankie J served as the opening act. Thanks to Tom Donoghue for his phenomenal photo galleries -- they are muy caliente!
Don Chareunsy is editor of VegasDeLuxe.com and senior editor, arts and entertainment, of LasVegasSun.com.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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