The internet was abuzz earlier this year with what turned out to be a rumour that Bangkok might welcome Latina songstress Jennifer Lopez, or J Lo, who has been touring the world since the release of her first greatest hits album Dance Again... The Hits. As it turned out, however, the closest fans here have ever got to party with J Lo and her troupe of muscled dancers was in Singapore recently _ a good two-hour flight from Bangkok.
The fans were among 40 lucky winners of the True Move H campaign that entitled them to free tickets to her "Dance Again World Tour" concert last week at the Meadow Garden by the Bay in the island-nation.
Hours before the show rain poured down turning parts of the concert ground wet and muddy, prompting a good part of the audience to stay a safe distance from the stage. But once the show started, the mud, humidity and drizzle couldn't stop some 15,000 people who had braved the conditions to be there and have a good time. And at the end of it some women even left the arena walking barefoot, their high-heels in hand to prevent damaging them.
The 90-minute concert kicked off with a sassy Broadway-style rendition of Never Gonna Give Up, for which Lopez appeared in a sparkling white catsuit created by Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad, her favourite, responsible for all her outfits on this world tour. Actually her dazzling wardrobe was one of the concert's highlights.
And the moment she started her sensual, high-powered dance moves joined by her hunky dancers, whipping her hair back and forth, the crowd went into a frenzy. Everybody knows Lopez looks sexy, but that night sexy wasn't enough to describe her presence.
Two women in the crowd, standing behind me, cheered loudly. In an appreciation tinged with envy, they were overheard saying that they needed to go to the gym, apparently impressed by the singer's well-honed abs.
The sound of the horn riff hinted the next number was going to be Get Right, followed by Love Don't Cost A Thing and I'm Into You. The first of the four-part concert ended with her millennium anthem Waiting For Tonight to which the audience responded by training their green laser torches on her.
Since her debut in 1999, Lopez has recorded six studio albums, one all-Spanish. An American born to Puerto Rican parents, she stepped into the spotlight as an actress but found fame in music, before branching out into fashion by launching her own lifestyle brand "J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez" in 2001. Now 43, she divorced last year from Latino singer Marc Anthony, with whom she has two children, after seven years of marriage and is currently dating her 25-year-old back-up dancer Casper Smart.
The second part of the night featured Lopez on the video screen as a boxer, to the strains of music from her song Louboutin. In a hooded jacket and bejewelled cap, Lopez then pumped up the night with Goin' In, the soundtrack from the blockbuster dance flick Step Up Revolution released earlier this year. Later the tempo was toned down, and the audience taken back to the time when Jennifer Lopez became J Lo, with her up-tempo R&B and hip-hop numbers from her mid-career albums, including Feeling So Good, I'm Real and Ain't It Funny. Capping off this sequence was Jenny From The Block.
The 2002 song announced Lopez as a hood girl from the Bronx who made it good _ very good actually.
After a fast-paced dance medley, Lopez had an intimate chat with the crowd and then performed a mesmerising acoustic version of If You Had My Love, her first number-one single from her debut album On The 6. This was when the audience learned that Lopez could really sing.
Although the show wasn't sold out, the concertgoers that night seemed avid fans judging from the loud singing throughout the entire gig. It was Lopez's first time in Singapore, and she expressed her sentiment to the fans by saying "I Love You" in Chinese.
The night headed for a climax with the singer playing bongo drums, followed by her Latin-flavoured tunes. Starting with Let's Get Loud (co-written by another Latina legend Gloria Estafan) she broke into Papi, a hit track from her album Love released last year, and wrapped up with On The Floor, her chart-topping tune that added a sample from Kaoma's 1989 single Lambada. The video of this song is currently the third most-watched on YouTube, after Korean rapper Psy's Gangnam Style and Justin Bieber's Baby.
As the title promised, Dance Again World Tour could never end without a performance of her latest hit single Dance Again. The crowd enjoyed the eagerly awaited encore by dancing the final minutes away with their favourite star until the show closed with an explosion of glittering confetti.
The show was well-choreographed and Lopez's top-notch dancing makes her stand out from other singers, as is the coquettish way she struts her body on stage. Lopez is not the kind who chit-chats with fans (it is not easy after all that dancing and non-stop singing), but her personality is genuine and radiates through her infectious laughter and sweet accent. Oh, how I wish we in Thailand could dance with you, mami!
About the author
- Writer: Yanapon Musiket
Position: Life Writer