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Luis Miguel emerges anew

LATIN MUSIC REVIEW: Mexican vocalist brings verve to 6,000 at Nokia Theatre
By MARIO TARRADELL / The Dallas Morning News

GRAND PRAIRIE – It took Luis Miguel more than an hour to bring out the 11-piece mariachi band during his show Saturday night at Nokia Theatre. But when he launched into several songs from his recent ranchera CD, México en la Piel, the concert took a dramatic turn for the better.

Luis Miguel, visibly moved by his material, performed with gusto at Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie on Saturday. There's something regal and rousing about old-fashioned ranchera tunes, the kind filled with hearty pride and exuberant emotions. México en la Piel is without question Mr. Miguel's best disc in years. It showcases the Mexican vocalist challenging himself with a batch of passionate songs.

Before an audience of about 6,000, he wore charro pants and boots topped with a silk black shirt. He sang with gusto, visibly moved by the material. Particularly good was "El Viajero" with its uplifting chorus and "Échame a Mi la Culpa," a potent manifesto of love gone awry.

He hasn't sung with this much verve in a long time. It was a new Luis Miguel. He was more personable than he's ever been. His spoken welcome went on for a few minutes, and he smiled all the way. He even translated his kind words to English.

In the past, Mr. Miguel had slipped into perfunctory performances. Yet he appeared looser, more in tune with the crowd. Women pressed against the barricades close to the platform tried to get his attention. Some standing further back decided to take their hefty bouquets and just toss them to him. He caught three of them, a surprised look on his face each time.

That was during the R&B-disco portion of the evening. He opened with a slew of Latin pop numbers such as "Que Nivel de Mujer" and "Dame Tu Amor", with similar rhythms that kept the proceedings light and airy. Then he slipped into bolero mode with cuts such as "No Me Platiques Mas" and "No Se Tu."

It was too structured, but once the mariachi emerged all was forgiven.