Concert Review: Miguel works fans into frenzy

With modern pop tunes and classic boleros, Mexican star Luis Miguel
worked his fans into a frenzy the SBC Center Thursday night.
Ramiro Burr /

The singer was a tad late – opening at about 8:50 p.m. for a show advertised at 8 p.m. Maybe he was waiting for fans to show up. When the lights went out, the crowd barely seemed to fill up half of the 18,000-capacity venue.

But ever the old pro, Luis Miguel blasted on stage with his exquisitely tuned 10-piece band. He was so energetic, focused and intense, you got the feeling he was auditioning for something.

Dressed in a black suit, his hair perfectly coifed, Luis Miguel smiled that dazzlingly toothy smile and the house melted.

His opening run included the upbeat "Con Tus Besos," "Dame Tu Amor" and "Suave."

The volume was high but the fidelity was crystal clear.

The crowd was hot, its deafening roars punctuating every song and every gesture by the singer.

Luisimi, as he's known, slowed the pace just tad when he went into a segment of slower paced classics that included "No Me Platiques Más,"

"Contigo a la Distancia," "Usted," and "La Puerta."

The crowd sang along, or at least tried to, encouraged by his repeated gesture of holding his microphone over the crowd.

A massive video screen over the stage provided scenic images and closeups of the singer.

He followed with "La Barca," and "Inolvidablemente" before he reached the first of several zeniths on the ageless "El Día Que Me Quieras," which describes the eternal hope that one will be loved as deeply as he loves.

In a brief pause, he told the fans he was thrilled to be on stage and hoped they would join him.

"Muchas gracias San Antonio, estoy encantado de estar aquí con ustedes una vez mas," he said. "Realmente es un placer..... y si me acompanan, se los agrecede."

He alternated between the intensely brooding boleros and the upbeat dance tunes where he danced across the floor. During the latter the mostly female cheers were deafening.

He peaked again when he applied his gorgeous tenor on the elegant nuggets "Besame Mucho," and "La Gloria Eres Tu," which was particularly mesmerizing. When you get lucky enough to meet the right person, the lyrics go, you get the sensation that heaven is here on earth.

It was stunning moments like these that highlighted the evening. The moments when the perfect song, superb musicianship, and an impeccable singer come together and spark unforgettable magic.

After the first hour, Luis Miguel changed into black charro outfit.

Backed by an 11-piece mariachi troupe, he went into his classic ranchera segment, which included many of the tunes on his latest CD, "Mexico en la Piel."

The crowd heartily sang along on old friends like "De Que Manera Te Olvido", "Mexico" and "Que Seas Feliz."

Hardline critics complain that Luisimi's concerts and albums have relied too much on older material and not enough on new or original material.

Fair enough.

On the other hand, it is not often that supremely talented artists take on such demanding material. Even more rare are the artists who actually generate an elevated or inspiring reading.

All artists dream of it. Many try. Few can execute.