There can be no argument: Ricky Martin (born Enrique Martin Morales) is a passionate performer. He positively glowed as he entered Rod Laver Arena stage – a veritable glistening specimen of a man, head to toe in white cotton.
The international superstar has earned the respect of a multitude Australians through his nurturing and caring role as a judge on talent tv show The Voice. And those who believe that those who judge should be able to do, can’t criticise this man. He can move. He can sing. He can entertain.
The crowd was transfixed as he gyrated through his hits. He was ably “assisted” by an impressive group of dancers who I am convinced wore less and less as the night wore on. And I would suggest the black bralette and butt-cheek skimming shiny hot pants may have been a crowd favorite.
Martin dedicated the Melbourne concert to the victims of the quake in Nepal, with an intriguing “intermission” of a video montage of beautiful, smiling faces of underprivileged children being helped via the Ricky Martin Foundation.
The singer urged the crowd to forget their woes – all their issues of home, work and school. Perhaps that was an acknowledgement that his fans are of all ages. I know that there was at least one 86 year old woman in the audience, while in the row in front of me, a young girl of about seven stood on her seat to watch Martin shake his bon bon.
There were smoke machines, a spectacular light show, brilliant nine piece band (love a brass section) and an impressive, mega confetti machine. But in a way, these accoutrements were superfluous, since most of the time, I really couldn’t take my eyes off Martin – with the occasional sideways glance at the aforementioned barely-robed dancers.
Melbourne choreographer Jason Coleman, sitting nearby, was in awe of their expertise. “Every step, every dancer was amazing. Really world class and uber-hot.”
Coleman said of Martin’s moves. “When he started I thought he’d hit a bit harder than that but by the end of it he did exactly what he said he would do and left his soul on the stage.”
Martin welcomed onto his stage Melbourne singer Jackson Thomas that he’d mentored on The Voice. A powerful duet ensued and Thomas’ voice was gorgeous.
It was a lovely gesture indicating that Martin is giving that promised “leg up” to those who appear on the talent show.
Amongst Martin’s parting words. “I don’t care what people think. I don’t care what people say.” Then he managed to get the crowd to do a daggy dance involving throwing hands in the air and rubbing tummies to a song with Spanish lyrics. And yes I joined in. And no, I have no idea what the song was about. But it sure was fun.
First published 2015