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Luis Miguel belts out hits with lots of glitz

By Jay Webb / Special to the Star-Telegram

DALLAS - With a stage adorned with six flaming pyres, the crowd at the Luis Miguel concert thought they were in for an evening of steamy romantic ballads Saturday night at Smirnoff Music Centre.

Instead, the 33-year-old Latin crooner created a glossy spectacle filled with energetic pop numbers.

Dressed in a black suit and tie with his mane combed back, Miguel resembled a young Julio Iglesias, and the whole stage presentation was similar to seeing Iglesias on a TV variety show.

Six screens made all the dazzle larger than life as pastel rainbow stripes flashed across and colorful neon pulsed behind the up-tempo pop confections. It looked like a Latin Las Vegas.

But the brightest thing on stage had to be Miguel's gleaming white smile -- and he knew it.

Miguel was totally aware of his image at all times, thanks to two TV monitors on both sides of the stage. Occasionally the small monitors weren't enough, and he checked himself out in the large screen above center stage, probably to make sure that his shiny hair was all still in place or to see that his skin was glistening with enough sweat.

Miguel has made a career of singing classic Mexican boleros, romantic ballads that came to prominence in the 1950s and were popularized on his 2001 album Mis Romances. But his latest CD, 33, is a pure pop effort, and that was his primary focus Saturday night.

When he did throw out the occasional ballad, he spared no expense, with fog from machines billowing and images of moonlight over the ocean, roses and candles filling the screen.

The stylish crowd of about 8,000 was dressed in high fashion.

Miguel generously accepted roses from adoring fans, but not without one of his two bodyguards hovering over him.

Miguel ruled the stage like a game show host. If the audience members were contestants on the Luis Miguel game show, then they were all winners because the singer belted out every note with vigorous abandon.