Ricky Martin shook more than his “Bon-Bon” on Allstate Arena recently. This was a different show for the Puerto Rican singer from previous efforts. Having seen Ricky perform during the height of his popularity during “Livin’ la Vida Loca” days to now where the top section of the venue was not sold, it is time for Senor Martin to scale back and move to the Chicago or Rosemont Theatre when he returns to our area. He had a slow and late start with “Sera Sera” but quickly plunged down into his dancer’s awaiting arms from the scaffolding to run up and platforms on either side of the stage to the screams of eager fans. The crowd mostly consisted of women and gay men who waved Puerto Rican flags.
The youth of 39 year old Ricky was flashed throughout the show with his energy and good looks harkening back to his Menudo days. Many have followed his career since his younger days to now have him as a role model for gay youth. There was a touching segment with a dancer, visuals and recordings where he came out to his father and the difficulty of the experience. Ricky has a sex appeal that is undeniable and connects with his audience for a combination of Musica + Alma + Sexo hence the name of album and tour. Whips and chains excited him with a new song “Frio” and one section had his dancers on the ropes with Ricky gripping the leash. Videos of him naked while paint was splattered on him just added to his caliente charm. He banged through most of his hits, even a stripped down “Vuelve” and “Cup of Life” with piano and horns, ole ole oleee.
Martin closed the show requesting equality. He mentioned that he is not better or worse than others just asking to be equal. That is a message we can all take home.