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Valley gets its fix of Shakira

September 26,2006
Miriam Ramirez
Monitor Staff Writer

With thousands of adoring fans shouting, Latin superstar Shakira greeted her followers with a fierce taste of 'Estoy Aqui' sending Dodge Arena into a frenzy Monday night.

Thus began a glorious night of belly-shaking, hip-thrusting and hand-waving with the enthusiastic songstress.

Following her introduction, she quickly gained momentum with 'Don't Bother', while playing a sparkle-encrusted Fender American Stratocaster guitar.

Fans, smiling from ear to ear, wanted more.

Shakira, sporting a sparkly silver bolera vest with black cargo pants, circled the stage in her trademark bare feet under a florescent lighting scheme welcoming the crowd to her show.

'Good evening Hidalgo,' she said.

It was her first of two, back-to-back shows in the Rio Grande Valley ' a much anticipated visit
for men and women,
boys and girls who have followed her since the days of her debut on Siempre en Domingo with Raul Velasco 10 years ago.

She spoke to her fans in her native Spanish, graciously translating her desire for everyone in the jam-packed house to have fun, sing and dance along.

'That's the deal,' she said moments before breaking into her mega-hit, 'Moscas en la Casa.'

Fans came by the carload, music seeping from the caravans, all with one goal: Shakira was in town and folks in the Valley were well aware of it.

Fans rushed inside the arena, anxiously awaiting the Colombian songstress to take the stage, but first they had to get a taste of the über-exciting Wyclef Jean, who got the party started.

'I just love her,' said Cruzemma Rodriguez, quickly professing her fanaticism for the belly-shaking Shakira. 'The way she dances, the way she moves, everything.'

Rodriguez, 26, of Mission owns every bit of Shakira's music, down to her live DVDs. She is fully enthralled by the singer's vocal ability and stage performance.

'She's simple, but she has so much charisma and enthusiasm,' said Rodriguez, wearing a gold-encrusted belly chain. 'I see myself in her and I've loved her since she came out.'

Rodriguez was not the only sharply dressed fanatic in the sold-out audience Monday night.

Corina Robles, an admissions assistant at the University of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences, was dressed for a night out on the town, but instead was ready for a night of hip-shaking musica en Español.

'I want to hear songs from her early albums,' she said, referring to songs like 'Ojos Así' and 'Tu.' 'I'm so jealous of her body; her diet must be air.'

Robles said she was a lucky gal this time around because of the way she managed to score her tickets. Tickets for both shows sold-out in record time with some being resold concert night at about $250, well above face value.

'It was pure luck,' she said. 'I think I got my ticket not more than two hours ago.'

Once the concert was underway Wyclef Jean hyped the crowd with old favorites like 'No Woman No Cry', and 'Guantanamera.' But, fans still sat at the edge of their seats waiting for Shakira to take the stage.

'That's who I am here to see,' said Yalila 'Ya-Ya' Chapa of Edinburg. 'Her music, her physique the way she is as an overall performer.'

Chapa, 25, snatched her tickets early on, in January through the Shakira Fan Club Web site. Leading up to the day of the concert it was all the University of Texas ' Pan American student could think of.

'Every since her first CD, I've been hooked,' she said in between sets. 'I loved her even when she wasn't popular in the United States.'

But Shakira fans were not only of the female species. Monday's concert also brought plenty of sharply dressed fellows.

'It's the way she moves,' said Santos Molina, bashfully turning towards his wife, Diana. 'We are just excited that she is in town because it's another step for the Valley.'

His wife could not agree more, especially since the pair purchased their tickets via a classified ad in the local newspaper.

'We're so happy to be here,' she said. 'Everything about her we love.'

Across the arena, fans appeared mesmerized by the two large screens on both sides of the stage. Shakira's backdrop was simple, leaving all attention towards the shaggy haired bombshell.

'We are so glad she is here,' said Santos Molina of Mission. 'I hope she enjoys her stay.'
Miriam Ramirez covers features and entertainment for The Monitor. You can reach her at (956) 683-4468.

This article has been posted by: John
Posted at 09/30/2006. Original article can be found here.

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