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Luis Miguel croons to first of two audiences at Dodge Arena
Kate Lohnes / The Monitor

Joel Martinez/The Monitor
Luis Miguel kicked off the first of a two-night performance Tuesday at Dodge Arena in Hidalgo. A large video screen makes the Latin pop star larger than life while he sings the hit “Que nivel de mujer.”

International singing sensation Luis Miguel made his first of two appearances Tuesday night at Dodge Arena, wowing a sellout crowd from around the world with his smooth lyrics and classic style.

Luis Miguel’s last appearance in the Rio Grande Valley was in 2003. As before, he had to add a second concert date here this year because of overwhelming demand to see the show.

There was no need to tell those present that Luis Miguel is a hot commodity, though, as fans of all ages flocked to the arena more than an hour before the show. Dressed in everything from studded jeans to fur stoles and sequins, most wanted time to find their seats, buy food and snag souvenirs.

Joel Martinez, a T-shirt vendor who worked during the international singer’s previous Dodge concerts, said attendance seemed greater than before.

"There’s more enthusiasm for this show, especially because there are two nights in a row," he said. "Some people are dressed up real nice, like it’s a social event."

Linda Casas of Big Joe’s Flowers in Pharr sat at a table with baskets full of roses. Casas said the roses sell especially well at Miguel’s concerts.

"All the girls want to throw them at him and give them to him," she said.

Luis Miguel, known for his popularity with women, had concert patrons giddy.

"He’s so cute," said Giselle, a fan from Pharr who paid $85 for her ticket. "Oh my God, I wish I could have a date with him."

"I love how he sings," said May, a friend of Giselle’s who flew from Mexico City for the show. "I would tell him to sing all night."

Judging from the crowd inside the arena, more than 5,000 people would tell Luis Miguel the same thing.

A roar went up from the crowd when the lights as the stage went black at 8:50 p.m., a cacophony of voices, chants and whistles were accompanied by flashbulbs. Isolated screams became a roar of approval as the lights slowly rose. A big screen behind the stage broadcast pictures of beaches and the Mexican flag as the band broke into the opening chords of "Que nivel de mujer."

Screams resonated as Luis Miguel jumped onto the stage, looking polished in a crisp black suit and tie. Both men and women seated in the front rows jumped to their feet, clapping and waving their arms during "Dame tu amor."

After he finished the song, the crooner thanked the audience for coming.

"You’re all very kind," he said in Spanish to the crowd. "It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to come back here."

The artist alternated between dancing enthusiastically across the stage to sitting on the edge and serenading the audience, who in turn sang back during the ballad "Contigo a la distancia." When a mariachi group joined Luis Miguel on stage, after he changed into a pants resembling the traditional ensemble’s, the crowd went wild.

Among them was 14-year-old Luis Manuel Elola and his mother, Lamar, from Pharr. Luis Elola said he has been a fan of Luis Miguel’s for at least four years.

"I’ve always been a really big fan of his," he said with an ear-to-ear smile.

Luis Miguel’s music has special significance for Elola, a cancer patient suffering from acute lymphoplastic leukemia. According to his mother, her son takes Luis Miguel’s music with him during his cancer treatments.

"He listens to him during his spinal taps," said Lamar Elola. "It relaxes him."

Like many of the people at the concert, Luis Elola said the concert would be an experience he would never forget, something he would tell Luis Miguel if he had the opportunity.

"I would tell him to keep on going," he said. "Don’t ever stop being cool."