Latin music is alive and well in Las Vegas. From the moment Ricky Martin took the stage on Wednesday for the opening night of his Vegas residency show at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, the crowd geared up for a thrill ride though his catalog… and they got it. Below are the six best things from Martin’s Sin City show.
The crowd at Park Theater knew they were in for sexy show about a minute into it when a video of Martin played on a oversized screen. Before he actually took the stage, Martin was shown exiting the shower in a towel. Soon he took the towel off and his bare butt was shown. The crowd, largely full of females, shrieked.
He Embraced His Surroundings
Martin knew exactly where he was and he indulged in his new digs. During his hit “Shake Your Bon Bon,” Martin went straight Vegas. He used oversized dice as a prop; his backup dancers fanned themselves with handheld fans made up of oversized cards; a roulette wheel spun on the oversized screen behind him. After “Bon Bon,” Martin sang “Luck Be a Lady,” which is basically the unofficial anthem of Las Vegas. While he was offstage for a costume change, his backup singers belted out “Viva Las Vegas.” Fair to say, he’s a welcome addition to the Strip.
English and Spanish Fans Apply
Martin is a certified worldwide star, but he knows that his audience is primarily English and Spanish speaking. The show is as multilingual as you can get. Martin, as expected, played the songs widely-known to his English-speakings fans: “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” “Shake Your Bon Bon,” and “She’s All I Ever Had.” He also played songs that his Spanish-speaking fans adore: “Maria,” “Vente Pa’ Ca” and “La Mordidita.” Martin is an equal-opportunity pleaser.
While Martin rarely actually speaks to the audience, one person does get to experience the show up close and personal. During “She Bangs,” Martin’s super-impressive dancers bring up an unsuspecting fan to dance with them. Many of the moves are similar to those from his music video (from the TRL days), but on this particular Wednesday, the fan seemed to have studied the routine because she has the moves down to a science.
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It’s commonplace that singers perform songs they’ve done with collaborators at concerts. In 2001, Martin released “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely,” a song he did with Christina Aguilera. During his new show he also sang the song, but Aguilera wasn’t there. The crystal-clear screens behind Martin, though, showed Aguilera singing right on cue with Martin. The power of technology is amazing sometimes.
Dance, Ricky, Dance
Maybe this goes without saying, but Martin can move! While many artists let their backup dancers act as an accessory (so they don’t take away from the main act), Martin makes them a big part of the show. And, guess what, he moves every bit as well as them. At 45 years old, he’s got the looks and the moves.
“Vegas is home now,” he said at the end of his show as the crowd stood on its feet, “so we’re gonna have a really good time.”
Night one = Mission accomplished
“Livin’ La Vida Loca”
“This is Good”
“Shake Your Bon Bon”
“Luck Be a Lady/Lady is a Tramp”
“She’s All I Ever Had”
“Drop It On Me”
“Vente Pa’ Ca”
“Nobody Wants To Be Lonely”
“Por Arriba Por Abajo”
“Cup of Life”