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Concert review: Shakira shakes it up in celebratory show at the Don

That Shakira sure can shake those hips.

No lie.

The Colombian crossover pop star rocked the house, and shook those shapely hips - a lot - Tuesday in the first of two shows at the Don Haskins Center, part of her recently launched "The Sun Comes Out" tour.

Tuesday's show wasn't sold out, but came close, with about 7,000 people packing the Don, which looked like a big, orange-seated theater with all of Shakira's large-arena stage production crammed in, including a satellite stage that jutted out from the main stage, cutting the smallish floor seating area in half.

All of that production led to an unnecessarily long gap between the mostly generic but energetic set of a capella opener Nota, winners of NBC talent show "Sing Off," and Shakira's sweat-inducing 105-minute performance.

The newbies finished their set, including vocal-effects renditions of the Miracles' "The Tracks of My Tears" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," came off at 8:25. Shakira didn't go on until 9:15 after much confusion ensued
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when fans in the cheap seats were allowed to move down into more expensive but empty seats, including a few rows in front of two of the production's video cameras.

Seems like that sort of thing could have, and should have, been worked out before crowds started arriving. Hopefully, it won't happen at tonight's second show, which is all but sold out.

Because you don't want something like that ruining a show that's meant to be a celebratory, and participatory, experience.

There's an inclusiveness to Shakira's new show that befits both her enduring cross-cultural appeal and her personal mission to promote education among the world's poor. She made her entrance by walking slowly through the floor crowd on stage left, security watching but not preventing fans from hugging her. Dressed in a hooded, billowy pink dress, she sweetly and solemnly sang about longing on "Pienso En Ti."

"Si Te Vas," one of her older Latin pop hits, had the crowd singing along without prompting, something that happened just about any time she dug into her Spanish-language songbook.

But it was the appearance of her first big crossover, English-language hit, a rocked out "Whenever, Wherever," that she literally brought the crowd into the show,
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singling out seven girls from the audience seated down front (well, jumping excitedly) to join her on the b-stage for a quick lesson in bumping and doing a little Shakira-style bump-and-grind. She also tossed in a snippet of EMF's 90s dance floor anthem "Unbelievable" to indulge her inner rock goddess.

Shakira's a multi-faceted pop artist and the show reflects that. It draws on her various musical influences, from the Latin pop of "Si Te Vas" to anthemic electronica of recent hits "She-Wolf" and "Loca" to an acoustic version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" that nicely set up the flamenco-inflected "Gypsy" and "La Tortura."

There's a certain social inclusiveness to the show, too, most notably on the rousing finale of "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," a traditional African song she recast for this year's World Cup tournament in South Africa. It opened with video of young African children declaring their career ambitions - from president to poet - and ended with 23 contest winners gamboling onstage with the singer, her muscular eight-member band and two sprightly dancers.

The 21-song set not only drew from the various phases and stages of a musical evolution that has been chronicled on record for nearly 15 years now, but it was split down the line between her Spanish-language and English-language hits, thus appealing to her older and newer audiences. It spanned that career, including huge hits, including a splashy "Hips Don't Lie" and four songs from the new "Sale el Sol" album, which comes out Oct. 19.

"Gordita," an uneasy and ill-advised fusion of rock and rap that saw her responding in Spanish to a disembodied male voice (and bizarre giant face between the massive high-def video screen) was the only big misstep in an otherwise energetic set that rarely felt push-button.

Sure, there were a few momentum-slowing costume changes. Yeah, it looked like she may have been lip-synching here and there. Sure, the bottom-heavy sound mix, which was way too loud for a venue that small, tended to bury those vocals, real or otherwise.

But none of that could hamper the sheer energy of the constant hip-swiveling motion machine that is Shakira. To paraphrase the great philosophers ZZ Top, she's got hips and she knows how to use them, which she did virtually every minute of ever song, shimmying and shaking and bumping and grinding (not to mention bellydancing during "Ojos Asi").

Like a Colombian version of Madonna, Shakira may be a tiny dancer, but she's got a big presence and an even bigger message about the need to celebrate life and diversity, no matter how bad a day we've had or how inconsiderate the boss may be.

That's a message worth dancing about.

No lie.


This article has been posted by: xxjohnxx
Posted at 10/21/2010. Original article can be found here.

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