Ricky Martin

By Christina Croucher

Artist:  Ricky Martin

Date / Venue:  Friday April 17th, Vector Arena, Auckland

There's a slight expectation when a superstar that made it big in the 90s does a big tour; will it be a bit of a laugh down memory lane or a show that refreshes your view on them? Ricky Martin at Vector Arena last night in Auckland quickly passed my pre-conceived ideas with his current but authentic show that made it clear why the Latin pop star is still in lights.

The suave singer kept us waiting for his entrance as South American music pumped up the crowd to a big dance party atmosphere before appearing out of a big cube on stage that lifted up to display Ricky in a two piece white suit - the first of many outfits (not complaining) throughout the performance.

After a few party songs which had some audience members on their feet, Ricky told the audience to let go of all their worries, lets fly together. The infectious and gracious personality that Ricky Martin is as famous for as his music was visible and felt through the show, and enhanced a great concert into an incredible one.

Ricky has pulled together an incredible team to tour with him; the choreography and dancers are absolutely brilliant and make you want to finally take up that samba lesson you have pondered! The dancing is high demanding and at full force through a lot of the show, it's very crafted while coming across as spontaneously sexy - with the outfits to match. Ricky was no exception, belting out consistently powerful and on point vocals while grooving on his own and often joining the dancers in sequence too.

The energy of the large band was awesome with his Puerto Rican background heavily coming through, half the night was performed in Spanish which was beautiful and just as engaging to me (a non-Spanish speaker.) The instrumentalists were up with Ricky having a groove, the brass section even did a dance sequence. There was a funky set up on the right with keys, congo drums and percussion. On stage left, a full drum set and some electric instruments that showcased a heavier rock vibe to some songs such as the edgy break down ofShe Bangs. Ricky had one male backup vocalist who also played Spanish guitar with him through some slow songs which was beautiful.

Latin Pop has to be one of the most fun genres of music and with feel good Ricky Martin leading the night it was a blast and probably the most fun I've had at a Vector show. The classics were played and reinvented and so much fun to dance and sing along too, Livin' la Vida Loca, Maria and Nobody Wants To Be Lonely were a few.

I think Ricky Martin is timeless because he is true to himself as an artist, makes the wide demographic of his audience feel at ease in his presence and has the power to break down the walls of the crowd. It was incredible feeling everyone loosen up to Ricky's demands of letting go and not caring what you look like, projecting a live in the moment mentality; and that's just what he's doing.

Check out his charity rickymartinfoundation.org/en that he promoted during the evening.