The only question after seeing Jennifer Lopez‘s All I Have residency in Las Vegas is: What took her so long?
Given her trajectory of Fly Girl to actress to pop star to TV personality to all of the above at once, it’s not surprising that Lopez was tailor-made for Vegas. It’s much like the Rat Pack’s heyday in the 1960s: Was anyone asking Frank or Sammy to choose a single career path? No, they were expected to excel in all things, and J.Lo surely did that in the first night of her residency at Planet Hollywood’s AXIS theater.
The show played out like a walk through her multi-hyphenate life, beginning with her very first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit, “If You Had My Love.” Following the feathery and sparkly opening number, Lopez had a modern trick up her sleeve for “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” as her male dancers rolled out on hoverboards, presenting her with sequined roses. As Lopez climbed up the mirrored staircase at center stage surrounded by gentleman callers, it was very reminiscent of Madonna’s “Material Girl” music video (you know, aside from the hoverboards). J.Lo went full Vegas next with “Got a Lot o’ Livin’ to Do” from Bye Bye Birdie, performing a soft-shoe number complete with jewel-encrusted cane.
When it was time for the first costume change (we were all waiting for one), a hip-hop interlude kept the crowd occupied, as dancers dressed as speakers filled the stage. When a bedazzled 6 Train rolled out, it was clearly time for the Bronx portion of Lopez’s walk down memory lane. How could she prove just how real she still is, even after all the international fame? By performing “I’m Real,” of course, with special guest Ja Rule joining her as the night’s first special guest. She transitioned to “Feelin’ So Good” and then her signature “Jenny From the Block,” rocking a sequin pink Yankees cap that she gifted to a lucky New Yorker in the crowd.
“Mind if I change?” she mused to no one in particular to kick off the sultry section of the night. This is where she really let out her inner-Vegas showgirl, as she became less and less clothed throughout “I’m Into You,” “Girls” and “Booty,” including some vigorous shaking of her famous derriere and a J.Lo sandwich on a chaise lounge with two female dancers. During “Booty,” her band even played a line of Drake‘s “Hotline Bling” as Lopez announced, “Booty call!”
But forget the booty for a second, because next up was J.Lo, the mom. After performing “Feel the Light” from the animated movie Home (“You have kids and all you want to do is a cartoon,” she said as an actress) in a stunning green-screen dress that made her look 10 feet tall, she wanted to do something for her twins Max and Emme. She chose Lee Ann Womack‘s “I Hope You Dance” — by far her most personal and emotional song of the night, as her voice cracked in the last line. “I just want them to be happy,” she said of her 7-year-olds.
Never one to bring the mood down for too long, it was time for more surprise guests. Rule returned for “Ain’t It Funny” and Ne-Yo came out to duet on Debra Laws‘ “Very Special” and the J.Lo hit that sampled that song (and the residency’s namesake) “All I Have” — with Ne-Yo even singing LL Cool J‘s parts.
But what about her Latin roots? Lopez had that covered too. It started with Celia Cruz‘s “Quimbara,” then “Quien Sera” (also known as Dean Martin‘s “Sway” in English) and then the Grammy-nominated “Let’s Get Loud,” which was co-written by Gloria Estefan. Lopez never stopped dancing throughout the night (except for when she was locked into her mile-high gown), but she especially got down during the Latin section.
Finally, it was time to end in the area where J.Lo started and has found her most recent success: dance. She finished the two-hour spectacle with “Waiting for Tonight,” followed by “Dance Again” and, finally, “On the Floor.” The crowd was stunned to see Pitbull emerge from below the stage for the final number to cap the over-the-top night. Can the regular residency crowd expect this much star power? That remains to be seen.
A number of celebrities filled the opening-night crowd, including Justin Bieber (whose arrival prompted the biggest non-J.Lo scream of the night), Leah Remini, Rebel Wilson, Kelly Osbourne, Today host Hoda Kotb and more.
Early in the night, Lopez announced to the audience: “There’s a new girl in town!” She’s just kindly letting Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Olivia Newton-John and the other Vegas staples know that they have some company in Sin City — and she already seems to have a pretty good feel for the town.
Jennifer Lopez’s All I Have set list:
If You Had My Love
Love Don’t Cost a Thing
Got a Lot o’ Livin’ to Do
I’m Real (with Ja Rule)
Feelin’ So Good
Jenny From the Block
I’m Into You
Feel the Light
I Hope You Dance
Ain’t It Funny (with Ja Rule)
Very Special/All I Have (with Ne-Yo)
Hold It Don’t Drop It
Let’s Get Loud
Waiting for Tonight
On the Floor (with Pitbull)