Last night, Jennifer Lopez performed before an enthusiastic crowd at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam. This was her first trip to the Netherlands, and she brought up the fact early in the show. She then teased the audience, asking if anyone knew where she was from? Not a tough question for these fans as they shouted the last words from one of her biggest hits… the BRONX!
She took advantage of the moment to send out her thoughts and prayers to family members back in her hometown, and to all New Yorkers, who were bracing for the impact of the expected mega-storm Hurricane Sandy. And with that, she was back to the business at hand…. entertaining the thousands of fans who had come to see her debut in the Netherlands.
This happens to be the third leg of this Dance Again tour, which kicked off in Panama City back in June. She performed throughout Latin America, including stops in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janero, before heading to the U.S. where she shared the bill on a summer tour with another currently hot Spanish performer, Enrique Iglesius. That leg ran from mid-July through early September, playing 24 shows throughout America and Canada. Following a short break, this leg kicked off just over a month ago in Baku, Azerbaijan. Since then, she has played 16 dates in 14 different countries.
As for the show itself, it was a slickly produced, fast-paced production and featured a high-energy, 43-year old Jennifer Lopez doing a lot of what she does best…. dancing. With a team of hunky male back up dancers, she writhed and thrusted like a performer half her age, showing off her still incredible body. You could tell she was enjoying herself during what is, and this might come as a shock, her very first concert tour as a solo artist. In fact, the only other time she has been on the road prior to this year was in 2007, when she played 20 dates with then husband, Marc Anthony, in support of her Spanish-language CD Como Ama una Mujer.
The night’s lighting effects were top notch, meshing well with the predominantly dance-oriented material that has been the basis for so many hits over the years. Lopez has sold an estimated 70 millions albums worldwide and has the 3rd best-selling remix album of all time, J to tha L-O (Michael Jackson and Madonna own the first and second slots). On top of that, she is coming off a banner year of success, having been a judge for two seasons on America’s top reality competition, American Idol and releasing the biggest hit of her career On The Floor (ft. Pitbull). That song ended up being the top selling single in Europe for 2011.
While JLO has a pretty voice, it is somewhat limited in power and range. Because of this many of her songs happen to be produced using backing tracks (her own voice) for amplification as is common with many of today’s artists. If the artist goes on tour, the effect is usually simulated with either backup singers or recorded tracks, as was the case last night. Unfortunately for some of the faster numbers, Lopez’ live singing was louder than the backing vocals which was not always a good thing, if you get my drift. Having said that, I will add that she did a lovely, intimate version of If You Had My Love, her very first hit song.
A habit of Lopez which I have to admit annoyed me, was the way she would constantly break up a song by shouting out to the audience “SING!” It’s one thing to hear a flubbed note by a performer you paid to see, but I certainly didn’t pay to hear other audience members try to sing a part of each song. Hopefully she will take note of this habit before she reaches southeast Asia, where the show is scheduled to be recorded for use in a documentary film project to be released next year.
Overall, I give the Jennifer Lopez: Dance Again concert in Rotterdam a 7.5 out of 10.