Iglesias/Aventura rock the AT&T Center Saturday

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Dance rhythms and powerful tunes drive Iglesias/Aventura show 

By RAMIRO BURR
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Enrique Iglesias unloaded his rock guitar-fueled pop and dance tunes to thrill the crowd and command the night at the AT&T Center on Saturday.
 
It was on a double bill with rising bachata superstars Aventura, but on Saturday, Iglesias was clearly the heavyhitter.
 
Iglesias' opening run began at 8:59 p.m., and included the intense rock tune "Not in love," on differentiating between love and lust, and the power ballad "Solo en Ti," on trying to move beyond obsession.
 
Iglesias' calling card has always been his melodic pop, often fueled by energetic dance rhythms. But Saturday's 15-song concert leaned heavily toward the rock end, as Iglesias let his guitarists blaze away.
 
"Que tal San Antonio, how you doing tonight," Iglesias said during a brief pause. "What the hell is going on San Antonio? Am I getting older or are you guys getting younger? "The last time I was here was in 2002...thank you so much for being here tonight."
 
Tall and lanky, Iglesias, in black pants, a grey T-shirt and a cap, appeared calm and well-rested. Backed by a solid eight-piece band, Iglesias masterfully controlled the musical and emotional ebb and flow of the night.
 
He slowed the pace on the eloquent "Nunca te olvidare," asking the fans to sing along as he described an undying devotion. Similar in sentiment to Pedro Infante's super classic "Cien Anos," this tune made the argument that despite the passage of time and new romances, those special loves are never forgotten.
 
He racheted up the pace with "Rhythm Divine," on following your heart and the catchy "Bailamos."
 
During an acoustic segment, Iglesias and his band huddled at centerstage and brought up some fans to join them. He demonstrated that his memory is pretty good: "I remember it was 1997, my first show at the Alamodome, this was the first song I wrote."
 
That song was "Por Amarte," describing what its like to lose your head in love. Then he launched into the "Lloro por ti," on the desperation that comes when you are abandoned.
 
The stage was setup in the theater configuration, meaning the stage was brought out forward, which eliminated several seating sections. The stage also included an extension some 40 feet into the main floor which allowed Iglesias to get close to his fans and shake hands.
 
The upper decks were also closed. That meant attendance, which was considered a near sell-out by venue spokesmen, came to a little over 7,000.
 
Two huge overhead screens, and a massive display behind the stage, provided plenty of close-ups on the action.
 
On his end run, Iglesias pulled all the stops on the anthemic "Be With you" and "Dimelo," and "Hero," on providing inspiration.
 
Iglesias' strength is his ability to inject heat and passion into his ballads and party fever into his pop dance tunes. 
 
His dad, Julio, will probably go down as the ultimate master of the romantic low-moan. But the younger Iglesias has carved out a separate identity as one of the most dynamic and magnetic pop singers of our time.  
 
10:18 p.m. MORE TO COME...

When Iglesias wrapped it up at about 10:14 p.m, a good chunk of the audience packed it up and left.
 
But, when Aventura finally touched down at about 10:43 p.m. excitement ran heavy through the crowd. The group employed thundering sonics, deafening flashpots and dazzling lights to rock the fans.
 
Though the group is a trio backed up by a seven-piece band, it was charismatic singer Anthony "Romeo" Santos that ran the show, pacing up and down the stage and runway.
 
"Buenas noches San Antonio," Santos said. "How you doing up there? I hear a lot of noise, but is it the women, or the men making all the noise?"
 
From there, the dance party continued. In recent years, Aventura has helped modernize the classic bachata, adding a polished urban pop sheen. Their hits such as "La Guera," "Llorar," and "Osesione" have found favor among the younger music fans. The latter was a big hit Saturday, getting the fans on their feet and singing along.
 
On Saturday, Aventura proved themselves to be the real deal, able to zone in their youthful fans' eternal quest for hot tropical rhythms, dance fever, and a unique identity.
 
(Ramiro Burr covers the Latin music scene. Burr is also the author of "The Billboard Guide to Tejano and Regional Mexican Music," on Billboard Books. For questions or comments musicreporter@gmail.com or www.ramiroburr.com.)


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Thanks a lot. You helped me much

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This page contains a single entry by Ramiro Burr published on September 6, 2008 8:28 PM.

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