Friday, September 08, 2006
She makes a man want to speak Spanish ...
... and more than a few women, too!
(She also makes me want to take about 8 hours of belly dancing classes a day ...)
I went to the Shakira concert at Madison Square Garden last night – a fantastic experience. Shakira looked more comfortable and natural than she has in years. She was barefoot the entire night, left her hair loose and naturally curly, and wore loose-fitting pants and a crop top or T-shirt for much of the concert, instead of the overly sexy, bleached blonde, tight-leather-pants-and-high-heeled-boots look of her last tour.
I still prefer the dark-haired Shakira of her pre-American-market days, though ... but that's another story. I guess she did what she felt she needed to do to conquer the American market. And who am I to argue, if she just sold out two concerts at Madison Square Garden? Now she's a big enough success to have her Spanish-language songs become hits on English-only radio stations. (And to anyone who thinks she has sold out commercially, I would ask: "When was the last time you saw classical Indian dance on the MTV Video Music Awards?")
Last night's included such a wide range of musical and cultural influences that I couldn't even begin to count them! But I'll mention the ones I can think of ... Colombian, Middle Eastern, Indian, hip hop, reggae, rock, bossa nova, pop .... well, that's a start, at least.
And our special treats for the night: an opening set by Wyclef Jean, who was incredible; a surprise appearance by Alejandro Sanz that was greeted with an ovation that nearly blew the roof off the Garden, and a "Hips Don't Lie" finale including the saffron-sari'd Indian dancers who were featured with Shakira on the MTV Video Music Awards.
My only complaint – for someone who makes so many people want to speak Spanish, she herself didnt speak any last night! She addressed the crowd entirely in English (extremely fluent English, by the way). Given that the audience was at least 80 percent Spanish-speaking, that was a surprise. Fortunately, most of her songs were in Spanish, though – which is a good thing, since she sounds so much better in Spanish than in English. ("Hips Don't Lie" is the exception that makes the rule, in my opinion.)
That's a minor complaint, though, given the the incredible creativity, artistry, musicality, warmth and non-stop energy that Shakira shared with us last night. I can't wait to see what she will do next. And while I am waiting, I'll sign up for some more belly dancing classes. What an inspiration!
(PS - Thanks to my best comadres, and our honorary compadrecito, for being there to enjoy the experience with me!)