Ricky Martin calls Houston addictive, keeps it sexy and (costume) flashy at rare rodeo gig that promises more


Jhe idol has become a dangerously sexy global superstar, Ricky Martin may have aged like fine wine and settled down with a husband and a bunch of kids, but when he takes the stage he always knows how to bring that spirit Livin’ La Vida Loca.

For the multi-Grammy winner’s first Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concert, singer Ricky Martin came to perform (or ride in this rodeo case), but also the dancer, fashion icon, actor and actress. quadruple threat, the ultimate showman Ricky Martin. With a fiery band, a full horn section, a troupe of male and female Bon-Bon shaking dancers, and spectacular video and backup lighting, the man can put on a show.

Yes, the versatile singer Martin (and I’m not just talking about jumping between Spanish and English) came to fill and claim the vast space of the NRG stadium with his velvety voice on Friday night. Most Houston Rodeo concert sets are limited to around an hour by official decree, but Martin still delivered some of the vocal highlights of his groundbreaking, multi-genre career from “Vida Loca” to “She Bangs,” “Maria” to “La Bomba”, “Shake Your Bon-Bon” to “Vuelve”.

Dancer Martin kept the beat with his fabulous company of dancers. Still, a good showman always knows when to share the limelight, and many times the dancers opened and closed numbers as costars, with a flamenco twist and a drum line routine that was definitely Broadway-ready. For most of the concert, Martin sang and then ran onto the stage jumping straight into the backing dance routine, moving with the troupe, sometimes getting up close and personal sexy.

Ricky Martin has more than kept pace with his talented dancers. (Photo by F. Carter Smith)

Fashionista Martin entered with the first issue, “Vida Loca” of course, with a black ensemble, leather, knee-length shorts and a black jacket which he converted into a cap in the next issue. He stuck with a black-and-white palette for most of the gig, but from shorts to kilts to skin-tight pants and hoodies, costume changes came to just about every other song and parade. fashion continued again and again.

Stage, film and musical actor Martin also proved his mettle on Friday night, particularly with power ballads like audience favorite “Vuelve,” but also songs like “She Bangs” and “La Vida Loca”. Martin spelled out every noteworthy word. He doesn’t just sing but sinks into the role of a song. And since his repertoire includes several worldwide hits, chronicling poor souls chasing crazier divas – let’s say crazier divas – through hellish, yet musically upbeat and crazy adventures, actor Martin certainly brings those adventures to life.

We could forget that Martin is serious Broadway Chops having played Marius in Wretched and Ché in avoid, but he reminds us of it in every song. The star-shaped stage at the HoustonRodeo also became the perfect performance backdrop, as on more than one occasion Martin stepped out on a point, reaching out to the audience as if to touch everyone in the crowd of 56,781. .

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Ricky Martin means a lot of pageantry. (Photo by F. Carter Smith)

Throughout the hour-long concert, showman Martin spoke directly with the crowd, always drawing louder and louder responses with a “I can’t hear you” joke whenever the masses didn’t quite respond to lived up to his glaring expectations. For the spectacular finale of light and fireworks, “La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life)”, Martin shot the “Do You Really Want to?” line to a bit of a sexy tease.

Do we really want it? You really don’t have to ask, Ricky.

We’re at the Houston Rodeo after a two-year pandemic hiatus. Yes, yes, yes, we really want a night where she hits, shakes Vida Loca. And remember at the end when you called Houston beautiful, addictive, unforgettable and promised everyone you’d be back? You better keep that promise, Ricky Martin.

You know you don’t wanna play with us crazy bitches. . . uh divas. Don’t mess with us crazy divas.

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