Although she made inroads with North American audiences on her last tour, it appears Shakira has taken that all-important step from the medium-sized stage to the big time in the region.
Although she made inroads with North American audiences on her last tour, it appears Shakira has taken that all-important step from the medium-sized stage to the big time in the region. While anything but a rookie in the music industry, the 28-year old Columbian native is giving audiences a taste of what made her so successful in Latin America. And on her current Oral Fixation tour, Shakira is demonstrating that her English hits, although good, are basically doors leading into her genre-blending Latin-oriented pop.
Her 17-song, 90-minute set began with the bouncy and dance-infused "Estoy Aqui." The barefooted performer worked the stage as her tight and well-oiled seven-member supporting cast fleshed out the great opener. The punchy, one-two combination of "Te Dejo Madrid" and "Don't Bother" had their desired effect, as she played harmonica and a rhinestone-riddled guitar, respectively. But sitting down and "unplugging" for "Antologia" resulted in an enthusiastic yet unspectacular sing-along.
Following a pretty and quite powerful performance of "Si Te Vas," Shakira veered into an almost Disney-esque world with the lullaby "Obtener Un Si" from 2005's "Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1." The airy rendition featured a silhouette of orchestral musicians behind her as she performed the song. Other songs that enabled her to flaunt her pipes more than her hips included the slightly jazzy "La Pared," accompanied by a lone piano. Perhaps the most striking visual of the show was Shakira returning to the stage with a long flowing red dress for "No." The tender ballad ended with the garment engulfing her as she twirled and swayed.
Yet for every mellow moment, there were an equivalent number of pop tunes. The second half of the show contained several of these, beginning with "Whenever Wherever." Here the singer ventured into the crowd to make the song even more memorable and engaging. Although "Underneath Your Clothes" came off somewhat lackluster, Shakira concluded the main set with a dynamic, galloping "Ciega, Sordomuda" from 1998's "Donde Estan Los Ladrones?" Wyclef Jean materialized for the show-closing "Hips Don't Lie," leaving few hips among the near-capacity crowd lying still.
Jean also opened the show, good-naturedly ribbing some audience members who weren't dancing during his 30-minute set. Whether playing a guitar solo behind his back, covering Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" or doling out "Ready or Not" from his days with the Fugees, Jean got the crowd going.
Here is Shakira's set list:
"Te Dejo Madrid"
"Si Te Vas"
"Obtener Un Si"
"Underneath Your Clothes"
"Pies Descalzos, Suenos Blancos"
"Hips Don't Lie"