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Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, and Ricky Martin on “The Trilogy Tour,” Oct. 21, TD Garden, Boston
Global powerhouses Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Pitbull have joined forces on “The Trilogy Tour,” a split headline run that channels multiple generations of fans. Stopping Saturday night at Boston’s TD Garden, the three luminaries of Latin pop embarked on a night of celebration sparked by their individual charisma and plethora of chart-topping hits.
In the realm of trilogies, this one proved fruitful in atmosphere and execution, avoiding any repetition in the four-hour extravaganza. The three musicians came equipped with superb bands, animated dancers, and a production value that rivaled the award show theatrics you often find with these stars.
Their camaraderie dates back decades. Iglesias toured with Pitbull in 2017 and Martin in 2021. Uniting together now as an indelible force of Latin pride, the trio exuded an unwavering sense of power and gratitude to share the stage. Unfortunately, though, the trio did not appear together.
Ricky Martin kicked off the night with a profuse energy that radiated throughout the Garden. As determined as ever, he performed an endless string of hits, breathing new life into the span of his ’90s classics and covers like “Pégate” and “She Bangs.” Equipped with a team of mesmerizing Latin dancers who twirled around Martin in unison, fans could fully immerse themselves in the atmospheric indulgence of Latin pride and celebration.
Proving a fantastic showman, now well into his 50s, Martin’s performance set ablaze the arena and raised the bar for the performances to come. In retrospect, it’s puzzling as to why the renowned artist initiated the show, rather than closing the night out with his celebratory act.
Following a brief set change — punctuated with banal pop hits to entertain the crowd and perhaps distract from the fact the show was running 30 minutes behind schedule — reggaeton maverick Pitbull took the stage for a wide-ranging set of his endless hits, of course starting with his instant mood booster, “Don’t Stop the Party.”
Mr. Worldwide embraced the audience with his signature grin and sunglasses (which did not leave his face until the very last song), and dove into a mix of his beloved collaborations, and interestingly, inspirational speeches. Proving as much a thought leader as a hip-hop artist, Pitbull took time throughout his set to wax philosophical on his musings about life.
While the show was ripe with energy and skilled musicianship, it did not come without caveats. Opting for shortened versions of his material, Pitbull’s tactic seemed to be to channel an electric party atmosphere in jam-packed bursts, before disappearing from stage. The space was filled with a DJ set that churned out minute-long earworms, illuminating the club-like atmosphere where Pitbull tracks resonate best.
Unfazed by the fact the artist so frequently came and went, the entirety of the Garden transformed into a dance party in seats and aisles, and isn’t that the point of it all? If you were looking to forget the troubles of the world and immerse fully into the music, Pitbull provided the perfect escape from reality.
“It feels good to be in Boston here tonight. What I love about Boston is that everyone is known for being … hard workers, scrapers, grinders, fighters, hustlers,” Pitbull effused throughout his set. Highlighting the struggles and triumphs of his own life, he often played the role of motivational speaker, before tying his words into his song lyrics, and then transforming again into the role of hype man.
“I’ve got strong ties to Boston, especially in Lawrence,” he later revealed. “They’ve shown me a lot of love in Lawrence. Especially this one guy who put a lot of hit records together for us, his name is DJ Buddha. So one time for DJ Buddha, let’s represent Boston and Lawrence,” he said to a screaming crowd, before displaying a brief presentation on the 12 schools Pitbull has built across the country.
Owing to his collaboration-heavy catalogue, Pitbull often performed only the choruses of his songs — while at times it felt more like karaoke, the audience rejoiced in all that Mr. 305 had to offer. Adamantly declaring the night was going to be a party, his energy and charisma made up for what the set’s odd structure lacked.
The crowd constituted nearly 20,000 fans of diverse ages and ethnicities, proving that the power of music transcends all. Whether you were fluent in English or Spanish (or both), your native language did not limit the experience of the show. Pitbull proudly declared, “We all speak music for the night.”
Enrique Iglesias closed out the night with a career-spanning brigade of hit singles that were rendered to allow for his stage antics and the influx of screaming fans. With sexualized versions of songs “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)” and “Loco / Me pasé,” it was evident the artist was going to play up his stage persona, even at the sake of sacrificing the quality of his music. More often than not, he relied on the backing track of his own vocals, opting for energy spent on jumping and hyping up the crowd, as opposed to his own vocal performance.
With high production values that included a B stage, special effects, dancers, confetti, and large beach balls branded with “ei” that were released from the ceiling, the high energy created from these theatrics carried the evening. While Iglesias has the sheer star power and magnetism, his band carried him musically. Percussionist Gilmar Gomes shared rapping duties amongst a variety of instruments and impressed throughout the night, highlighting the talent of Iglesias’ band.
Back in 2010, Iglesias and Pitbull teamed up for the hit single “I Like It,” which proved to be a fan favorite. The song invigorated the crowd with its pop-centric embellishments, though surprisingly Pitbull did not return to stage to perform the track, much to fans’ disappointment. Mega hit single “Hero” also did not make an appearance on the set list due to time constraints, leaving fans saddened by the omission. Disappointments were soon forgotten when the magnitude of the show’s energy returned for the electric finale, “Bailando.”
“The Trilogy Tour” brought forth a feverish energy and emphasized the power of Latin music and inclusivity. Each artist targeted a different demographic and created an inclusive and immersive environment. Even if Ricky Martin should have closed the show with his extravagant, well-oiled set, the night still sizzled with ferocious passion and zest for life — something that is needed now more than ever.
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