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>> RICKY MARTIN and JESSICA SIMPSON Turn Up the Miami Heat <<


RICKY MARTIN launched his Livin' La Vida Loca tour in Miami on October 20 and 21. When the lights dropped, the crowd exploded as they assumed the show was underway. Wrong! For some reason on two jumbo screens in the Miami Arena, a series of commercials began to play for the packed arena.
I'm all for sponsorship of performer's tour, but I don't think people who paid to get into the show wanted to watch 7+ minutes of commercials.
As the commercials ended, the show kicked off with RICKY MARTIN's special guest JESSICA SIMPSON. Jessica is the latest addition to the explosion of young female artists, but Jessica has something many of the other lack: a great voice. As Jessica's set started, her background dancers performed amazing acrobatics and dance steps. Jessica commanded attention as soon as she took the stage. This newcomer has a voice comparable to that of some of the greatest female vocalists of all time.
Jessica slowed things down in her set for her song "My Wonderful." This sweet, romantic song was enhanced when she had an adorable boy from the crowd named Robert on stage with her. This also helped to lighten the mood because Robert was shy and didn't want to smile, but Jessica took care of that and joked around with him until his smile lit up the stage.
Jessica ended her set with her power ballad, and first single, "I Wanna Love You Forever." The songs words are great in their own right, but Jessica made them come alive and left the crowd wanting more as she belted out powerful, harmonious vocals to this fantastic song. Keep an eye on JESSICA SIMPSON; she's a superstar waiting to happen.
A giant movie screen was the lowered from the rafters and the beginning scene of the "Living La Vida Loca," video was shown. When Ricky crashes his Mustang into the fire hydrant, the movie screen was raised to reveal Ricky being raised on to the stage standing on the hood of a crashed Mustang. When the car was fully raised, it began to rotate on the stage. The crowd exploded as the king of the Latin explosion sang his cult classic. Dancers appeared left and right standing on what seemed to be moving sidewalks.

The entire show was a technological wonder; three giant jumbotrons were on stage that would make many sports stadiums envious, piece of the stage appeared, disappeared, and moved between each song, the stage had moving sidewalks that transported people from backstage to center stage, and numerous other techno gizmos added to the high energy show. Ricky loved to get the crowd involved throughout. He even had a handheld camera that showed the crowd on the jumbotrons for some songs.
Ricky also showed the crowd that he wasn't the only one who could swing his hips; he split the crowd in two and had the arena move their hips to the beat for him. The show was action-packed and the crowd loved every second of it. Ricky performed songs from all of his albums, and ended his show, before the encore; with his first crossover hit "Maria."
Ricky showed Miami how much energy he really had, and the crowd showed Ricky how much love they had for him.

-- Eric Jourgensen
MTV Local Stringer
(October 22, 1999)

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