City of Roses
Last night I saw Shakira, with the new rising rock act Pay The Girl, at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. It was by far the best concert I have seen yet, with rock, Arabic, reggae, disco, and messages of peace all infused together in one belly-dancing, booty-shaking evening!
First, at 7:30, Pay The Girl took the stage, a new rock act based in Cincinatti, Ohio, who got their name when hanging out at a local diner in Athens, Ohio, and they wished to have enough money to pay for tuition and still have some left to party, and there when the waitress came to them with the bill their initial reaction was to look at each other and say “Go ahead, pay the girl!”
Jason Phelps, the lead-singer of the band, kicked off a set of six powerful rockers from their forthcoming March 4 release of their self-titled debut album. The band has a striking resemblance to Bon Jovi and Live with a mix of radio-friendly and heavy rock, with matchbox twenty-esque lyrical soul. They opened with three heavy-rock ballads, followed by Junkie, a lament about emotions during the most difficult times, Beverly, a bittersweet radio-friendly rocker about first love which would sound great as their second single, and they closed the set with their first single, Freeze.
After their performance, they said fans can see them in Section 102, which I went to and shook hands with the band members and got their autographs.
After a half-hour break, Shakira finally began to shake up the crowd. The stage was covered with a red and yellow curtain featuring the mongoose on the left side and the cobra on the right, resembling the “Tour of the Mongoose”, which from beginning to end of her performance the message of peace was delivered.
Finally, the lights dimmed and the curtains glared red, with the mongoose and cobra each shining a bright silver as the classic rock hit “Welcome to the Jungle” played loud. As the song came to a closure, the curtains opened up, and Shakira’s nine-piece band began a rock introduction, then, Shakira finally ran onto stage with fire bursting from both sides of her on the stage and began her seductive belly-dance to Ojos Asi, her Arabic-flavored rocker, beginning with a solo dance then entering right into the lyrics, lengthening the song from its original duration with her belly-dancing.
The rocker was followed by another Latin rocker, Si Te Vas, which Shakira encouraged much audience participation in singing on. Then, she grabbed an electric guitar and strummed along to her power ballad “Fool”, following that performance up with the salsa-flavored Ciega Sordomuda, one of her three career #1 hits.
Afterward, she stopped to welcome everyone to the Tour of the Mongoose and encouraged everyone to have peace and to hug your loved ones and in the meantime also have fun. She then stepped down from the balcony and leaped right into Rules, followed by Estoy Aqui, which she had everyone singing along the chorus too. Next, she started up her new single, The One, which had many of her fans singing along also. The television screen then featured an inspirational quote by Jimi Hendrix, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace”
Once again, she grabbed a guitar, only this time an acoustic one, and stopped to say “Some of you may not know this one, but this is off of Donde Estan Los Ladrones and hope you all like it” and played Inevitable, with a powerful hard-rock ending.
All a sudden another inspirational quote appeared, and the floor began to light up with color, as Shakira appeared performing a drum solo for a minute then climbing down from the drum-set shouting “Are you ready for more, ARE YOU READY FOR MORE?” and more fire burst from the side of the stage and she began her disco-romp Ready For The Good Times, which she both sang along to and also shouted to the audience “Are you ready for the good times?” and had everyone repeating the chorus. After the melodious dance-club ballad, she soared into another ballad, Underneath Your Clothes, in the acoustic version.
Then, the lights all went out, and on the television screen, a movie clip appeared featuring people in the E.R leaning over a bed watching the heartbeat monitor and praying that whatever was there would live, and after the heartbeat disappeared, after a break of silence, it came on again and the bold big red letters “Rock and Roll Will Never Die” appeared and fire exploded on the stage and Shakira ran out to cover Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady”, where she performed an impressive John Popper-esque harmonica solo before cruising in bellowing “What a funky lady…” Following that cover was a cover of AC/DC’s “Back To Black” which had Shakira up to her best belly-dancing of the evening and sliding her legs over the balcony poles and kneeling to the floor on her hands and knees with her slow sensual dancing until closing up the rocker, featuring the neon lights shining behind her.
After two exciting covers, she got back to her basics and stormed up Octavo Dia, where the television screen began showing a clip of George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein playing a game of chess in black and white and Shakira began her Grammy-winning political masterpiece “Octavo Dia”, an urgent cry for world peace. Toward the end of the song, Shakira stopped as the band kept playing and said “I’ll tell you something, I don’t like to sing about politics. I like to sing about something much more important. I like to sing about love, and love is lacking in our leaders, and our leaders are lacking love! So give peace a chance!” and then skipped around on stage as the band had a long hard-rock conclusion with the video clip revealing Bush and Hussein as puppets dradled by the Grim Reaper and showed scenes of starving children and homeless while the two world leaders placed oil rigs, tanks, guns, and factories on the chess board, and the song slowly came to a mellow close with a dove against a black-and-white radio screen slowly soaring, then turning into many doves in neon as her dread-locked keyboardist immediately rose to the stage to assist in vocals with Shakira on the reggae-flavored “Un Poco De Amor” which he lent the reggae vocals in English and Shakira the rest in Spanish with the doves turning into many symbols on the screen and by the songs closure the symbols turned into smiles and into hearts to represent love.
Next, red and white lights flashed upon Shakira as she began her rocker “Poem To A Horse”, a song about drugs ruining anyones life and emotions. After another explosive rocker, Shakira toned down the audience with the soft, sonorous love ballad “Tu” with the keyboardist on piano, then closing up the set with an exciting performance of Objection, with her crawling on her hands and knees and staring into the camera lens against the beat of the drums until finally crooning the rocker. She then said “You all are wonderful, rock on Denver, have a wonderful night!” and her and her band disappeared but then Shakira rose up from beneath the stage with a chandelier on her head and began another dance until beginning the exciting encore of Whenever, Wherever, with Shakira beginning with more lovely belly-dancing then beginning to sing along with the whole audience singing the chorus with her. By the songs explosive finish, she stood on the ladder platform and rose high above the audience pointing to everyone in the audience “Now it’s your turn!” and from each section everyone singing the chorus” until finally she got everyone and the ladder took her back down onto the stage, continuing to dance and sing the song then leaping up into the air onto the floor and fire and sparks going off from the left side of the stage to the right side of the stage and finally she said “You all have a good night, and remember, whenever, wherever, we’re meant to be together! Peace everyone!” and bowed and jumped down into a trapdoor as final fireworks went off and confetti filled the whole auditorium as her band continued to rock for two more minutes with the black-and-white clip of the mongoose and the cobra on the screen and the second the mongoose attacked its neck exploded on the final guitar riff with the message "Bite the head off of hatred" filling the screen. then they bowed and left the stage.
It was by far the concert I will never forget, ROCK ON SHAKIRA, and ROCK ON PAY THE GIRL, whose fabulous debut CD will be released March 4! Don’t miss it!
"Underneath your clothes there's an endless story..."
[This message has been edited by Mistletoe Angel (01-30-2003 08:04 PM).]