Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Spanish pop heartthrob Enrique Iglesias and Cuban playboy rapper Pitbull brought their Sex and Love World Tour to Mandalay Bay Events Center on Sunday night, and it was a nonstop, nearly four-hour, super-sexy, pounding dance party in which the high energy never waned. Like, never.
In this co-headlining tour, both men brought sexy back (and for Iglesias love via his hit ballads), and each had an equal number of excited fans on the Strip dancing, screaming and dancing again. Pitbull upped the sex quotient with six incredibly hot female backup dancers who were on fire in every barely there costume they donned in their 70-minute performance.
The two biggest differences between the two hunks who otherwise share a lot in common (on this night, both praised the USA, the greatest country in the world): First, Iglesias’ wardrobe for the evening consisted of black leather pants and his signature V-neck T-shirts in purple, white and red, while Mr. Worldwide was in his signature suits (all-black, then a white jacket) and aviator sunglasses.
Secondly, while Pitbull remains at a noticeable distance from fans as the party ringleader, Iglesias, who was up first, interacts a lot with his fans, often going into the audience for high-fives, handshakes, selfies, serenading and groping (his fans of him), including the man Iglesias pulled from the audience from Nicaragua who now lives in Las Vegas.
The man, who was probably in his mid-40s, at times bear hugged Iglesias and rubbed his back, sides and six-pack abs, and Iglesias was an incredibly good sport about it, patting him on the top of his head and pouring him alcohol from bottle to mouth.
Incidentally, Iglesias pulled another gay man from the crowd at his Boulevard Pool in the Cosmopolitan concert in September 2013, and decidedly non-platonic hugs and talk of Madonna songs were exchanged. I wonder what his love of seven years, retired tennis player Anna Kournikova, thinks.
The one unexpected and unscripted emotional moment of the evening: During Iglesias’ “Hero” (which he dedicated to his loyal fans in his 19-year career), a gay couple a few rows in front of me spooned while standing, slow dancing to the ballad. It was really sweet in a week that saw Nevada perform the state’s first same-sex weddings.
The setlist for Iglesias, who is six years older (at age 39) than Pitbull but doesn’t look it at all and who was backtracked during the up-tempo songs but sounded fantastic during his ballads, included “I’m a Freak,” “Heart Attack,” “Finally Found You” (with Sammy Adams), “No Me Diga Que No,” “Bailamos,” “El Perdedor,” “Loco,” “Cuando Me Enamoro,” Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” “Be With You,” “Tonight I’m Loving You” (with Ludacris and substituting the F-word for “loving” on the giant LED screens and vocally), “Hero” and current hit “Bailando” (with Sean Paul), after which the audience continued singing and Iglesias exclaimed “I f*cking love you!” before exiting the stage.
Ultimate collaborator Pitbull’s setlist — nearly as many samples (from Lenny Kravitz, Nirvana, Guns ’n’ Roses and many more) and mashups as his songs and which benefited heavily from the LED screens — included “Don’t Stop the Party,” “International Love” (with Chris Brown), “Dance in Love” (with Jennifer Lopez), “Move, Shake, Drop,” “Shut It Down,” Salt ’n’ Pepa’s “Push It,” “Get It Started” (with Shakira), “Rain Over Me” (with Marc Anthony), “Vem Dancar Kurudo,” “Sube Los Manos Pa Arriba,” “Bon Bon” and “Back in Time” (from “Men in Black III”).
Also: “Have Some Fun” (with Steve Aoki), “Fireball,” “Turn Down For What” (with DJ Snake and Lil Jon), “Shake Senora,” “Mentirosa,” “Culo” (with Lil Jon), “I Know You Want Me,” “On the Floor” (with J.Lo), “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” (with Usher), “Hotel Room,” “Timber” (with Ke$ha), “Feel This Moment” (with Christina Aguilera) and “Give Me Everything” (with Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer).
The fitting finale was their hit collabo “I Like It” with confetti galore. (Each man has two No. 1 hits apiece, for Iglesias “Bailamos” — also his first English-language single — and “Be With You” and for Pitbull “Give Me Everything” and “Timber.”) My ears were still ringing upon arriving home 30 minutes after the concert ended. That’s the sign of an awesome show, right? Right? (What did you say? I couldn’t hear you.)
In the 10th month of 2014, Iglesias and Pitbull’s concert stands atop as the best of the year in terms of pure enjoyment. I was on my feet for most of the four hours (maybe even dancing, but you’ll never know), and that never happens.
Thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo galleries of Iglesias and Pitbull.
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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