Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
September 24, 2011
On September 24, 2011, I made my way into Newark New Jersey’s Prudential Center Arena for the Euphoria Tour starring Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull. This pairing was an obvious choice since both artists are internationally known, both from the Miami, Florida area, and have collaborated on multiple songs. Upon walking into the Arena we were told the show would not be starting on time as there were complications with the stage. In fact, the show started approximately two hours late, which was quite annoying. Luckily, the Pru Center has ample lounges serving both food and drink, which helped ease the time.
Up first was an artist named Prince Royce who is a “bachata” musician. His music did not appeal to me whatsoever, but most of the crowd was happy to finally get some entertainment after the long wait. He sang his biggest hits, such as “Stand By Me” and “Corazon Sin Cara” but for the most part, his performance was not memorable. However, once he finished the energy in the Arena hit all time high as we all waited for Pitbull to hit the stage. Pitbull is an artist who combines Hip-Hop with Pop with Latin music. He has really increased his worth in the past few years thanks to his collaborations with Enrique, J-Lo, Neo, Marc Anthony, T-Pain, Akon and Lil Jon, just to name a few.
Pitbull took the stage with all of the swagger and bravado of a hit-making headliner. And on this night, he out-shined his headlining counterpart. He broke into a 19 song set that was fast moving and full of energy. His club anthems had the entire Jersey crowd fist pumping like Pauly D and feeling like they were in Miami instead of the gloomy and cold Newark.
Dressed to the T, as he always is, with a black blazer, black button down, black pants, black shoes, and black sunglasses, he had a very likeable presence about him. At no point was he preachy, dirty, violent, or self centered as many Hip-Hop artists have become. Instead, Pitbull was simply there to help everyone have a good time. And a good time they had – I did not see anyone in the sold out crowd sit down during his thunderous set. Especially during “Hey Baby”, “Shut It Down”, his version of “Suavemente” and “I Know You Want Me”. He even threw in some of his guest spots like the mega-hit “On The Floor” with J-Lo (who was not present).
He ended his impressive set by bringing out Nayer, a Cuban singer and model, to sing “Give Me Everything” (without Neo). The two had the crowd singing along and waving their hands back and forth. The song was arguably the top Pop song of the Summer (2011) and everyone knew it word for word. Pitbull’s set was better than expected and I expect to see him headlining Arenas in no time.
Next up was the international superstar, Enrique Iglesias. My wife and I had seen him at Madison Square Garden just six months before this show and we really enjoyed his set. I was actually quite disappointed in him on this night. I am not sure if it was because of a City time restriction and because of the show starting so late, but he only sang nine songs, and he sang one of his songs twice. This was not the same show I had seen at the Garden just a few months before.
That being said, when he was singing and performing he was quite entertaining. But on this night, he was more interested in talking to the crowd and not singing. He even took a solid fifteen minutes to sit on stage with a male fan from the crowd and drink rum and make jokes. He did something similar in MSG, but it was only a few minutes. This time that portion of the show was way too long and downright annoying.
Enrique did switch songs up between his American hits and Latin songs, as he is known to do. And he concentrated on a lot of material from his newest cd, “Euphoria”. When he was singing, he was energetic and happy. The women in the crowd probably did not care whether he was singning or talking as they seemed to melt and scream at just the site of the man. He really is a pop sensation in every sense of the word.
His stage and performance included a few showers of confetti and lazers that created, at times, an impressive light show. He interacted with a few members of the crowd and even brought a woman fan on stage to sing and hug and kiss her, as he is known to do. It is a bit creepy, but its Enrique, so I guess he gets away with it.
The real highlight of the night was when Pitbull came out to sing their huge hit together, “I Like It”. Standing at the front of the long catwalk, the two artists performed the song to perfection, accented by Pitbull’s patented rapid-fire rapping.
I was a bit disapointed that they did not sing their other collaborative songs (“Come And Go” and “I Like How It Feels”) and do not know why they did not sing them, but at least we got one song that night where they sang together. In my opinion, if I am on a tour with another artist that I have collaborated with on a few songs, I would do all of those songs together. Fans like special guests and songs where multiple artists are on stage together for joint hits.
All in the all, the show left me with mixed feelings. I had a lot of expectation and while Pitbull lived up to the hype, Enrique left a lot to be desired. I would see both artists again: Pitbull because he was fantastic – and Enrique, to see if this night was just a fluke.
Either way, the crowd was very into the show. I even saw a male fan rip off his shirt in pure excitement and enjoyment during “I Like It” and throw it over the railing from the top tier to the floor tier. That is a story one cannot make up.
1) Mr. Worldwide
2) Hey Baby (Drop It To the Floor)
3) Snipet of Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
4) Miami B*tch
5) Shut It Down
6) Shake Señora
7) Bon Bon
8) Rain over me
9) Manos para Arriba
13) I know You Want Me
15) On The Floor
16) DJ Falling In Love
19) Give Me Everything (with special guest Nayer)
1) Loving You Tonight
2) Dirty Dancer
3) No Me Digas Que No
5) Lloro Por Ti
6) Cuando Me Enamoro
7) Only Wanna Be With You
9) I Like It (with Pitbull)
10) Loving You Tonight (Dirty Version)