Gloria Estefan to tour

By Cecelia Francisco
September 16, 2004

Shane Evans

It’s a muggy Friday night at the Wachovia center and the seats are hardly sold out. A black tarp blankets the entire second level of seats and the sections behind the stage are covered as well. The seats that are available seem to be full for the most part. All walks of life are in attendance; younger, older, English speaking, Spanish speaking, bilingual, even a cluster of nuns sitting off to the side of the stage.

All of the energetic, anxious fans are staring at an enormous depiction of what is presumed to be inspired by the South American Cuban Taino Indian god of rain, Boinayel who Gloria Estefan uses as a symbol for this tour. The huge figure which features a sun for a head and long orange, red and yellow infused tunic for its torso and out stretched hands draws much attention from the spectators already in their seats.

Around 8:15 p.m., the music playing through the speakers as background noise for the awaiting crowd grew louder and tech workers began climbing up the scaffolding to hook themselves into their seats above the. The anticipation was feverish. Then, it happened. The pinnacle moment when the lights go down and the band starts playing quiet music and the entire audience waits, some standing and craning their heads for a peak at the stage, some sitting and fidgeting.

Just when the lingering darkness and quiet hum of anticipation seemed unbearable for another second, fast, Latin conga beats began to fill the air and the huge orange, red and yellow figure started to dance about.

Within minutes, a familiar guitar riff, emanated from the Miami Sound Machine, began to play followed by the beginning lyrics of “Get on your feet,” as Gloria Estefan appeared onstage following the swift dismantling of the orange dancing costume. The big sun head of the costume rose up into the rafters and the dancers were shaking instruments and dancing about with Estefan as she sung to the now dancing crowd.

Estefan’s current tour, “Re-Wrapped”, is reported to be her last tour. It is in support of her latest album, “Unwrapped,” which she showcased throughout the concert set. The new music is her usual Latin-infused drum rhythm and spectacularly molded words of songs such as “Wrapped,” “Te Amare” and “Your Picture,” which she recently dedicated to the victims and survivors of September 11.

In between songs, Estefan spoke to the crowd, and told them stories about what the songs meant to her and what inspired them. She even brought her nine and a half year old daughter out to do a drum solo that garnered a standing ovation.

Throughout the show, Estefan made many comedic comments and spoke between songs to the cluster of nuns, one of which taught Estefan when she was younger. She also sat down and sung an acoustic parody of her retro popular song “Anything for you,” entitled “Anything for food,” about her piano player who seemed to eat constantly and never gain any weight.

Though the concert started just after 8 p.m. and ended shortly before 11 p.m., the crowd left thrilled and excited, chatting about the show and how good the performances were.

From the experiences of seeing many concerts, it is always exciting and fulfilling to witness a diverse crowd dancing and singing along to a performer who is performing at the top of her game.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Cecelia Francisco

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