She gave a warmer welcome than we did
So much for Boston making a good first impression. Mexican pop star Paulina Rubio made her debut here on Saturday, and it should have been as thrilling as the giddy Latin pop Rubio has been making since she wobbled in high heels in the Mexican teen band Timbiriche in the 1980s.
Instead, Boston let her down. Poor ticket sales moved her concert from the Opera House to Club Lido in Revere with just two days' notice. That didn't bode well at 8 p.m., when the show was supposed to start and only 30 people were waiting in line. The kicker? The tickets they bought through Ticketmaster were no longer valid, and new tickets were $55, a $10 hike from the original price.
Rubio deserves much better than that. After all, she's a major star more accustomed to playing venues with 2,000 people instead of the 200 who eventually clustered around the stage at the cavernous (but three-fourths empty) Club Lido.
But look on the bright side: It was a rare opportunity to see one of Latin pop's biggest talents in a relatively intimate setting. And the Opera House wouldn't have offered that spray of pink and silver confetti that coated the floor during the closing "Y Yo Sigo Aquí."
Rubio certainly played as if the place were packed, slinking onto the stage in oversize sunglasses and a brown fringe dress perfect for shimmying, Tina Turner-style. Later, she changed into a hot-pink, sequined hoodie that nearly matched her choreographed back-up dancers ' .
For all her preening and posturing, of her fellow pop stars Rubio has always seemed like the one who doesn't take herself too seriously, always in it for the fun. She's the sassy party girl who would throw back tequila with you in an all-male cantina. (And a tequila shot she did right before launching into "Dame Otra Tequila.")
For the past few years, Rubio has fancied herself a rocker, downplaying some of her electro-pop in favor of electric guitars and drums. Of course, this rocker doesn't sweat: A wind machine made sure of that, keeping her long, wavy blond tresses perpetually airborne. A full band -- with two guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums -- helped her rock out on "Lo Haré Por Ti" and "El Último Adiós," a tasty bit of horn-fueled mariachi pop.
Rubio breezed through "Don't Say Goodbye," her lone hit on US Top 40 radio, on to bigger and better songs from "Ananda," her latest album: "No Te Cambio," "Aunque No Sea Conmigo," and "Ayúdame."
Sure, she's a Barbie doll forever stuck in a video shoot, but that's what her fans expect, and it's what Rubio does best. She's at the top of her game, but sometimes, as Saturday night proved, we're just not worthy of her.
James Reed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.