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Music Review

Iglesias fills air with love

By Marc Hirsh
Globe Correspondent / September 24, 2011

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Reprinted from late editions of yesterday’s Globe.

Enrique Iglesias is a romance novel brought to life. Not a romance novel cover, in the manner of Fabio, but the novel itself, from the rough id that can only be tamed through the domesticating influence of a good woman who loves him.

That was the arc that ran over the course of Thursday night’s concert at the TD Garden, and Iglesias demonstrated that he knows his audience exceptionally well in a way that managed to avoid feeling like pandering, even when he was giving them everything they dreamed of.

Iglesias inherited the mantle of lover of women from his famous singer father, Julio, and he put that on display right at the start with the high-energy electro throb of “Tonight’’ and “Dirty Dancer.’’

The focus was largely on sex, as evidenced by his eventually changing the third word in “Tonight I’m loving you’’ to something more unprintably direct. But he made sure to dedicate “Be With You’’ to those who were over 20 years old.

His wish fulfillment wasn’t purely loin-directed, however. During the fist-pumping, “Firework’’-like “Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song),’’ he told security to stop holding back his fans, at which point a rush of women poured into the aisles and made a beeline in his direction at his invitation. He in turn fed off that energy rushing toward him.

And the dream became quite real for two fans who were invited onstage at separate points.

The first - brought up during a Spanish-language mini-set that began with “¿Dónde Están Corazón?’’ - immediately kissed him, hugged him, and never let him go, spending three songs playing up her good fortune and waving to the audience as if she were on a parade float.

The second fan joined him toward the end, and Iglesias sang the entire second verse and chorus of “Hero’’ with his arms wrapped around her as the microphone picked up her remarking how beautiful he was. Then, just as the song soared to its peak, Iglesias kissed her full on the lips, and they descended into the stage. A handful of club bangers followed, but by then, the story was complete.

With Pitbull grounded in Miami due to bad weather, Prince Royce was left to open the show entirely by himself. He came across like second-string Bruno Mars with an additional Latin rhythm section and a single-minded focus on romance.

Marc Hirsh can be reached at


At: TD Garden, Thursday night