Concert review: Enrique charms TA

Latin singing sensation played the Nokia Arena on June 1.

Enrique Iglesias_311 (photo credit: Avihai Levy)
Enrique Iglesias_311
(photo credit: Avihai Levy)
11 years ago, when Enrique Iglesias came on the scene as part of the Latin-music trend in the US, it was easy to get him confused with other Spanish- speaking singers like Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony. A decade later, Iglesias has clearly differentiated himself from the others by being the one that continues to churn out hits, year after year.
The audience seemed to know every word of every song Iglesias sang at Tel Aviv's Nokia Arena on Wednesday night, with Enrique performing one Latin-infused dance-pop confection after another to mostly women, who ranged from teenage to middle age.
The audience drank up the pillow talk thirstily, shrieking and swooning as Enrique made eyes at them and yelled “Shalom Tel Aviv!” He seemed amused at the attention, saying “calm down guys!” to the manic dancers watching the show more than once, only to rile everyone up again with a hit like “Bailamos” or “I’m Not in Love”
One person who needed to be calmed down more than anyone else was Michal, a leggy blonde Iglesias brought onstage before singing a ballad. The fan taught the Spanish star a lesson in Israeli chutzpah, insisting on bringing her new husband onstage and demanding that Iglesias sing one of his Spanish-language songs, which Michal said (after grabbing the microphone from the singer) was the first dance at her wedding one month before.
Enrique brought other fans onstage, where he then proceeded to serenade them with ballads like “Hero,” even kissing one girl on the mouth – but only after making sure she was over 18.
Iglesias shone during ballads and slower-paced songs, like a cover of sixties hit “Stand By Me,” where his distinctive voice stood out most. While his more up-tempo hits were fun to hear in concert and even more fun to dance to, their electronic beats are more dominant than Enrique’s voice, and the live performance didn’t bring anything new to songs like “Be With You” and “Taking Back My Love.”
Enrique didn’t dance much, preferring to gyrate in place and hold the microphone stand very close, letting colorful lights, pyrotechnics and his biceps and pecs provide most of the visual entertainment.
Iglesias sang recent hit “I Like It” for his encore, followed with the “dirty” version of “Tonight,” which he ended with the cry: “Tonight I’m loving you, Tel Aviv!” And from the sound of it, the audience loved him back.