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Ahi me voy otra vez ... the Madrid experience, 2006

Madrid 22.6.2006, the 5th concert of Shakira's 2006 world tour at Las Ventas



In a nutshell: The new show is more relaxed than the mongoose tour, but just as good.


The complete experience:

My flight to Madrid was 1:20 h late, and on top of that it arrived at the brand-new Terminal 4, which is one of those airports that can only be reached from the air. Took me the best part of an hour to get from the gate to the metro (alternatively, I could have joined a queue of over 100 people waiting for a taxi!). With all that, I arrived at Las Ventas around 9pm, where a very patient friend had been waiting for an hour and a half.


Still we were lucky to get in swiftly and got standing only some 3 metres away from the “tongue” on the right hand side of the stage. And right on time for the warm-up band, who were ok and apparently popular with the native crowd.


Darkness fell as we stood waiting for the main act and the barrel that is the world’s largest bull-fighting ring filled up to the rim high above us. Clear navy-blue sky, but no stars to be seen due to the powerful houselights around the rim. When these finally went out (10:35), somebody played some strange sounds on an oriental plucked string instrument (not the oud of mongoose fame, but something similar sounding). Somehow this morphed into Estoy aqui while Shakira stormed onto the stage from the left, at which point the whole place just exploded (good thing there isn’t a roof on it, anyway!). Together with the following song, Te dejo Madrid (harmonica version, similar to 2003), it was 8 or 10 minutes solid back-to-back madness.


After that a chatty welcome (isn’t it sweet how she finds something nice to say to every audience, rather than falling into the “If today is Tuesday this must be Belgium” kind of routine), concluding with the official order to have fun or else.


Then, as the first English title, Don’t Bother, which I think wasn’t quite as enthusiastically received as the Spanish ones, but that may just be me being prejudiced against this song (the fact that she gets to play the guitar solo is its saving grace for me). A quieter note with an “unplugged and seated” rendition of Antologia provided some calm before the storm that came up with Si te vas and Hey You.


She then started rambling about special people who are so incredibly wonderful that they change the whole structure of the Universe, or something along these lines, and just as everybody was beginning to worry about her well-being, the mystery was resolved by the appearance of Alejandro Sanz with his guitar, to take part in La Tortura. As he’s a huge star in Spain, you can imagine the welcome he got.


A video of Shakira performing exotic dances with another woman was projected while she changed from the black outfit into the huge red dress in which she performed No. Or maybe she and the red dress performed No as a duet. In any case it is quite spectacular, one of the highlights among the new parts of the show, complete with beautiful sing-along chorus.


Very conveniently, she had some flimsier, glittery pieces under the red dress, just right for Suerte (WW), which was essentially similar to the 2003 version (but performed without the chandelier this time). 


I’m unsure about the order of the following, but we heard Inevitable where she played a blue semi-acoustic guitar (but not the same one we have seen zillions of times, it looked a bit different this time) and explained the story of how she wrote that song on the beach (I hadn’t heard that one before!); Dia de enero, with a touching intro about everything starting in January; Pies descalzos, and Para obtener un si, with a recorded instrumental backing track and a chinese shadows style projection of the absent jazz band.


Then La pared in the acoustic version (piano only, GRACIAS, this version is one of my favourites ever ... ), and back to blowing up the house mode with Ciega sordomuda, which represented the fake end of the show.


The planned encores were Ojos asi, not quite as spectacular as the version that opened the 2003 show, and Hips don’t lie, which worked really well with pianist Albert Menendez doing a hilarious Wyclef impression, and the usual confetti finale.


Overall, there were 5 songs from FO1, 4 from DELL, 3 from PD and 2 from LS, and the 3 from OF2 were the only ones performed in English. I really liked the selection, even though I missed How do you do, Costume makes the clown -- hope they will be included in the Anglo version of the concert. 


Compared with the mongoose tour this one appears much more relaxed. Not so much pressure to show everything she can do to the whole world in one evening. Now the emphasis is more on the fun part (as she said in her welcome). Hence, no politics, no rock covers, no chandeliers or back-breakingly impossible moves. Just music and dance and lots of feel-good factor. Worked for me.


For other reports and lots of photos, see:




(page 12 of this thread onwards ... )

2006-06-26 11:55:24 GMT

Prose and Passion