Friday, June 13, 2014

Romeo Santos @ Patriot Center, 6/11/2014

Juliya and I went to see Romeo Santos ($ 74.80 goddamnfees ) at the Patriot center. I'd never been to that venue (well maybe Disney on Ice when I was younger), and not been to a Bachata show either. Ariel warned me about the crowd, but no one was particularly rowdy, somehow.  There were some pretty big rainstorms out this night, so things were a bit rough for a lot of people who got caught.

The "King"
We got there a little after 7, and perused the Patriot Center, and noticed there were tons of people (most of whom I was taller than ;3), mostly latino/hispanic people.  Not long after there were lines out the women's room and for beverages. There were many places to get some food and more bathrooms (people seemed to just go to the closest one, regardless of the lines) all around the circular arena.  The Patriot Center has a capacity of about 10,000.  There were all sorts of outfits (perhaps should have snapped a few of the crowd), from ratchet rompers to tight ass animal print miniskirts. And everywhere in between. Oh, and high heels on nearly every girl, which I was feeling afraid that so many people would fall (borracho or not).

There was a merch booth with shirts ($25-$30) and posters. There were also these odd photo op areas ($20) where you would get your photo taken, and then they would basically photoshop a very realistic looking Romeo Santos in the picture. It was really bizarre, but more crazy were the lines of people who were getting them.  It seemed a bit steep.

The most annoying part, after climbing the steep stairs to the top of the arena,  was the time discrepancy between the advertised start time (8PM) and the actual start time (9:15ish). This was pretty unprofessional and really uncalled for. Especially when you have a huge tour like this and things would ...really need to be on time. No opening act, just him!  It was like having dinner with my extended family- people running on "Spanish people time," not right NOW right now.

Check out the sea of devices

Eventually, the lights went down, and some intro started playing, and the screens on the stage showed a castle rising up, and we were virtually taken thru its halls, which were decorated with many pictures of Romeo himself.  Eventually, the middle opened up and we see Romeo standing with his velvet caped back to the audience. Someone helped him get it off, and there were more high pitched squeals than I have ever heard. It was like seeing the Latin Beatles or Mexican Elvis.  And I think about halfway thru one of the first songs it was pretty apparent that Romeo is really the Latin Kanye West. He's got a bit of an ego and his face was plastered on most every screen. His backup band (12 people!)  was mostly in shadows, except for a few times, and even then the spotlight was a bit slow and the video barely switched to them.  The audience didn't seem to mind tho, as each song and every hip grind and hump of the mic stand were greeted with squeals of approval.  When the lights went down, you could see a sea of people's mobile devices. It was a bit ridiculous.

His backing band was 3 guitar players, a bassist, a couple male backup singers, a female backup singer, keyboardist, bongos player, drummer, percussionist, and one more.  The bachata guitars sounded very clear, and of course Romeo's vocals were only drowned out by the very enthusiastic crowd. I think mainly they were criminally overlooked, but I think they know that it's part of the job when people go to see Romeo.

There were numerous royalty references for the self-proclaimed "King of Bachata" ... gold microphone, bejeweled microphone stand, with crown at the bottom, armoured statues (gargoyles?), royal seals, an oversized golden chalice used for a few toasts, the cape, etc.  At one point, he took a fan's cellphone and took (we think) a selfie of himself and the crowd.  The crowd was very into it, and many couples were dancing in the aisles or at their chairs, it was intense, especially with the steepness of the venue.

Spanglish  was spoken pretty frequently, and I had a little trouble with some phrases, as sometimes it would be uttered too fast/too loud that I couldn't make out the words.  Romeo's kind of audacious attitude and ego were a bit annoying, but there were several wisecracks.  His raspy talking voice (he's from  the Bronx, like Jenny) was not the voice I was expecting to come out of him.  He also had a bit of cussing throughout, part of his (slightly)"dangerous" bad boy image.  He was no slouch performing either,  he was pretty active and definitely singing throughout the show. He was on his feet, sitting, on his back at one point, and even jumping several times.

Una chica afortunada con Romeo

During one song ("Besos"), a fan was brought on stage and faux seduced by Romeo, who gave her several besos.  Lemme rephrase that, because she RAN after him on stage. I wasn't sure if we were going to have a Dimebag incident or not. What was interesting was that the fan was some 'normal' or 'average' girl, a little curvy, and not a bombshell. Looking at other reports from other shows, he does something similar, usually with 'normal' girls, which one could argue helps his MO of the 'Latin lover' and normal girls can look at that as an attainable fantasy or that it could be poking fun at heavier girls. I'm not sure which one I'm leaning towards.

Romeo con una bra de una chica

During one song, when he was taking off his jacket, I was wondering why it looked like he was folding it... and then he chucked it into the crowd. I seriously thought someone was going to die, and I swear I saw several people fall down, fighting for it.  There was a handkerchief thrown into the crowd with a similar reaction.  At one point, we saw that a fan had thrown her bra on stage. Romeo stopped and picked it up, and slung it over his shoulder, very amused. To me, he looked like a wrestler with the championship belt. He addressed the girl, but I only caught a part of it.  Basically he wanted her to continue disrobing ;3

El Noche de Sexo. yes, that's animal print

The screens showed mostly Romeo, but at times there were images of Romeo, castles, and for "Noche de Sexo" - legs clad in different animal print (of course).  The lights were pretty fun, and there was a little smoke. I don't think there was any fire/pyro, tho.

Romeo went down a trap door, and had a costume change for a song, while his backup female and male singers had a song (don't know what it was). That song was largely a restroom break for many, I noticed. That was unfortunate, because his backup singers really helped the sound be fuller.  There was a lot of audience participation, including a sing along/who's louder contest between each side of the crowd. This was the first one I've seen (many during European bands) that actually seemed like the crowd was REALLY into it.  I think this is one of the loudest crowds I'd ever heard. It was pretty ridiculous.

I can only imagine it was like this

As we left, it was mentioned that the women's bathroom was worse than ones in Sarajevo. BRUTAL.  I have never seen as many people with mops at a show (5 or 6) before this one. The men's room was pretty clean, surprisingly.  But we escaped pretty easily, tho early- He had been playing for about 2.5 hours and seemed like he had a few more songs in him, too!

Overall, it was a fun time, tho a different experience from a rock show.  I think it was a bit expensive, but everything sounded pretty great, and it was a loooong show.  I should have kept better track of things, but I was also feeling a bit under the weather

Here's another review, tho they don't mention the lateness.

Next show: Brad Paisley

Romeo Santos (partial) (9:10- 11:15+) (there are more songs and this is out of order but he played these at least)

  • Inocente 
  • Amigo
  • Por un segundo 
  • Promise 
  • Ella y yo 
  • Noche de sexo 
  • Eres mía 
  • Siete dias 
  • Necio 
  • Llévame contigo 
  • Besos
  • La diabla
  • Soberbio 
  • Odio 
  • Aventura medly