Pop singer Enrique Iglesias.
(photo credit: SIVAN FARAG)
‘You know what’s crazy?” a bemused Enrique Iglesias chuckled at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. “I feel you’re getting younger and I’m getting older!” And at 39, older he may be since his first big hit “Bailamos” in 1999, but that didn’t seem to faze any of his adoring fans who hung on to every note he sang on Wednesday night as if it were the last melodies they would ever hear.
Between hits like “Hero,” “Bailando” and “Escape,” he often sauntered to the edge of the stage and crouched down to grasp the hands of the fans who yearned for his fingers to brush theirs. At times, the concertgoers got a little too-handsy, with some groping his legs while another reached in for a good-natured lip-lock.
And Iglesias who’s enjoyed heartthrob status for the past 15 years – seemed to relish every moment of it during his appropriately named Sex and Love Tour.
Any good pop star uses his or her charisma, good looks and charm to make the audience jump to their feet. Iglesias, though, went one step further, with concertgoers hopping onto their seats in order to get a closer glimpse.
“I’m never leaving Tel Aviv!” he bellowed to the 7,000 people in attendance at the sold-out show, proving if anything, the love affair was mutual.
He wasn’t joking. While the singer is off to Sri Lanka to continue his tour, he is coming back on December 22 for a second concert in the Holy Land. It will mark his third time performing in the country.
As for his voice, while far from achieving Pavarotti-like levels of mastery, he capably conveyed the passion inherent in most of his songs. So when he seductively sang, “You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape my love,” from his hit “Escape,” it was easy to believe him.
He had the requisite special effects, of course – strobe lights, gusts of smoke bursting from the stage and cannons that shot confetti. But like his skin-tight designer jeans, he really didn’t need any of it to captivate his audience.
It wasn’t just women enamored with the pop star. At one point, he invited a 26-year-old student from Beersheba on stage. After five (!) vodka shots, the two broke into a happy, if not clumsy, rendition of “Stand By Me.” The other 6,999 concertgoers, who perhaps got drunk by osmosis, eagerly joined in and lazily swayed their arms in the air as the two sang along to the 1961 classic.
“Holy s**t, Tel Aviv, you don’t f**k around!” he laughed as the audience passionately sang along with him.
And with such a force of nature performing before us, why would we?