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Luis Miguel thunders into rousing show

Suave sensation thrills mostly female crowd in zesty performance.
By Omar L. Gallaga / statesman.com

He burst in, tearing through a paper facade with a burst of smoke behind him.

Those in the sold-out Erwin Center audience, driven crazy by several minutes in the dark, went wild and rose to their feet.

Here was Luis Miguel, natty suit, sharp white polka-dot on black tie, and teeth so white even those in the nosebleed seats could make out the bicuspids.

The Latin singer, on his "México en la Piel" tour, strutted and crooned. He double fist-pumped into the air to thunderous whoops from the largely female crowd. He kicked, and he cocked his head.

But even when Miguel breaks a sweat, this guy doesn't even break a sweat.

With a 10-piece ensemble (horns, percussion, two slinky backup singers) and later an 11-piece mariachi band, Miguel performed on a huge, elaborate set that looked like a hacienda if the hacienda were equipped with a dozen and a half flat-panel displays.

Mixing it up between lush boleros and up-tempo pop, Miguel proved he is a natural performer, which makes sense because the 35-year-old singer's been performing professionally since he was a pre-teen.

Through songs such as the opener, "Que Nivel de Mujer," to "Nos Otros" and "Suave," Miguel's versatile, strong voice carried surprisingly well in the cavernous Erwin Center.

He played so well to the audience and with such unabashed enthusiasm that even a losing battle with a dangling earpiece or an electric flute solo came across as more endearing than annoying.

"Esta noche voy a cantar un poquito de todo," he told the audience, promising a bit of everything in the show.

Switching to English, he said, "I hope you enjoy the show, even though the whole show is in Spanish."

The standing ovations, roses tossed on stage and wails of approval indicated they did.

The audience, made up of stunningly attired bombshells and their suited companions, as well as dressed-down Austin-ites, rolled along with the tempo changes as Miguel kept it suave.

In fact, if suave were a discipline of study, Miguel could be a tenured professor.

Now that Robert Palmer is gone, it's time to anoint a new "smoothest singer in a suit."