Enrique Iglesias can be your 'Hero' in Tel Aviv

More than 40,000 fans turned out for a concert that was more about the show than the singing.

Enrique Iglesias in Tel Aviv, May 27, 2018 (photo credit: SIVAN FARAG)
Enrique Iglesias in Tel Aviv, May 27, 2018
(photo credit: SIVAN FARAG)
Enrique Iglesias put on one hell of a show for more than 40,000 fans in Tel Aviv on Sunday night. It didn't involve all that much singing, but the lasers, pyrotechnics, gyrations, fireworks and even an Israeli flag made it a pretty memorable night in Hayarkon Park.
Iglesias strongly fed off the energy and adoration of the mostly female crowd throughout the almost two hours he was on stage. He worked his way through a series of hits and lesser-known songs, and predictably shouted "Shalom Tel Aviv" more than once. But, after making his way down to a platform stage closer to the back of the Golden Ring, he also recalled his past shows in Israel and expressed gratitude.
"I was here in 2011, I was back in 2015 and now I'm here in the present day 2018," he said. "Thank you all for coming here tonight," he added, giving a special thanks to those all the way in the back of the crowded venue. 
The sweaty, smoky and tightly packed crowd sang and danced along to "Be With You," "Escape," "Bailamos," "Tonight," "Bailando" and more.
When Iglesias sang "Subeme la Radio," his most recent hit, he brought Israeli singer Rotem Cohen (one of his two opening acts) back on stage and the pair sang and gyrated together. Cohen - who released an official Hebrew remix of the song late last year - then whipped out a joint Israeli and Spanish flag and the crowd roared with approval.
Enrique Iglesias (R) and Rotem Cohen (C) in Tel Aviv, May 27, 2018 (Sivan Farag)Enrique Iglesias (R) and Rotem Cohen (C) in Tel Aviv, May 27, 2018 (Sivan Farag)
The crowd also cheered when Iglesias introduced his Israeli-born guitarist of three years, Sean Hurwitz.
It was clear that most fans - myself included - were waiting for Iglesias to break out "Hero," his 2001 smash hit and the soundtrack to my eighth grade experience. The 15-year-old Israeli girl he pulled on stage during the song was shaking and crying from joy, and either a poor education or nerves made her appear to forget any English. Regardless, the hugging, petting and serenading of a girl not even alive when the song came out felt somewhat cringeworthy.
The acoustics and sound production at the huge outdoor venue were unsurprisingly not great, leaving it hard at times to hear Iglesias. But he didn't really seem to be there to sing, and instead spent a great deal of time running around the stage, pulling weird faces and poses, and even jumping into the crowd to be hugged, touched and poked by screaming women and girls. Iglesias - and much of the crowd - ended the night dripping with sweat. It wasn't exactly an evening of musical excellence, but it was a memorable show all the same.