Ricky Martin performs at Allphones Arena. Photo: Steve Lunam
Allphones Arena, October 18
Ricky was right, of course. She did indeed bang. And she jumped. And she screamed. Oh lord, did she scream. There was as much high-pitched overexcitement at this show as at a One Direction concert. Maybe more so, even if you figure this audience - 80-90 per cent women in their 40s with a full menagerie of animal prints - knew they had even less chance of taking home that buffed, tattooed charmer than their daughters had with Niall or Harry.
Well dressed charmer too. Often re-dressed for that matter with at least seven outfit changes (five in the first half hour), not to mention the band's switch from all white to all black midway. Was there a message in that? I doubt it: Ricky doesn't do message. He does do up-up-upbeat, assuring us that Living La Vida Loca is possible even if you don't have his killer smile and excellent shoes; that you can still Shake Your Bon Bons even if your bon bons have seen better days.
Even with a seven-piece band and eight dancers, this show didn't have the systematic, automatic, hyyyyyydromatic spectacle of his last tour more than a decade ago, though it didn't lack for energy. But Martin must thank the gods of television talent shows for resurrecting his career in Australia sufficiently to sell out this large room without the pyrotechnics.
And Martin paid homage to those gods by bringing on two of his The Voice protégés for some mid-show dramatic singalongs which featured the "mentor" looking on like a beaming proud parent. Which is nice, I guess, even if those songs actually brought the dull with the kind of songs television talent shows devour but add nothing to one R. Martin.
Thankfully, Martin pulled us back from the brink of tedium with a second half which leant heavily on his more overtly Latin American songs. Like Gloria Estefan on her last tour, Martin knows the hits have to be played but it is the Latin rhythms which make the party and bring the heat for a climax which won't be topped even by the encore of Cup Of Life.
So he smiled. And she screamed. And everyone was happy.
Ricky Martin plays Allphones Arena, on Saturday (October 19).