The hype surrounding bachata crooner Romeo Santos has been plentiful the last three years. It proved to be very real for the Bronx-born singer, who shook fans to their core this week at Los Angeles’ Staples Center as part of the first leg of a major tour.
Romeo, a well-chiseled figure with a baby face smile and a sweet, smooth voice, made his way up the music chain as the lead singer of Aventura before going solo and carving his path as a singular bachata sensation that's crossing into mainstream territory in duets with Drake, Usher and Tony Bennett.
Santos, who performed on May 22 during a sold-out show, is a confident performer with an arsenal of songs such as "Necio," "Promise" and "Los Infieles."
Santos epitomizes a certain love note for some like Miriam Gonzalez, who lives in Southern California.
"Romeo's music takes me back to my previous relationships," said Gonzalez, a 28-year-old office worker who eagerly spent $200 on a ticket to see the heartthrob. "The lyrics, the music and Romeo in the mix makes him the total package."
The Santos fanbase, which clearly belonged to women, is thriving and hanging on to the singer's every syllable. Rows of seats were filled with women in skin-tight clothing singing along with Santos and snapping selfies.
On stage, Santos' presence is strong as he strutted the stage in a T-shirt, white jeans and a light caramel-colored jacket, which he eventually tossed into the screaming audience.
Romeo dominates the rhythmic style of music, but he is also emotionally dominant on stage. His set was both charming and also an homage to old-school macho toughness such as when he spoke to his female fans, describing how certain musical chords affect their "cherry" and "flower."
Like the opening of the show, when he appears behind a faux castle and wearing a turquoise cape, Santos' theatrical embellishments are whimsical and campy too. But it is the simplicity of his presentation that makes him the real star.
In a nod to his entrance into the limelight, Santos' friend Vin Diesel joined the singer on stage to announce the bachata star will be in the seventh installment of the "Fast and Furious," slated for release in 2015.
Musically, Santos delivered an impressive set. His music captivates and his down-to-earth persona steals hearts. And that's what his followers want.