Review by Marla Friedler
It was emotional from beginning to end. Never before in the history of music has a salsa artist single-handedly sold out Madison Square Garden. People love Marc and he loves his fans. During the concert he kept looking down seeming to mumble something to himself. After the concert I asked Marc what he was saying and he said that what he was saying to himself during the show was, "I cant believe this. I cant believe this is happening."
Well, it happened. Marc Anthony sold out Madison Square Garden and the audience loved him. Many times during the show a fan would yell out, "We love you Marc" and Marc responded, "I love you too." He is a performer who has not forgotten who is most responsible for his success.
The concert included hits of the past, including a couple of my favorites, "Hasta Ayer" (with Paul Simon accompanying on guitar) and "Palabras de Alma" as well as tracks from his new album, "Contra La Corriente," (see review in SalsaWeb Features Index). In fact, during the show, Ralph Mercado, President of RMM Records, came to the stage to present Marc with an award for already selling 350,000 copies of "Contra La Corriente" before it has even been released.
One of the highlights of the concert was when Marc said, "This next song is because my idol sang it. Its also about a question that I had when I was young and the question is: What is the motherland? This song explains it." He then proceeded to sing "Patria" and was joined on stage by Ruben Blades.
Also joining Marc on stage was Frankie Negron (for "Y Hubo Alguien" track 1 on Marcs new CD). Paul Simon, Ruben Bladesand Ednita Nazario (who plays Marcs mother in the Broadway play "The Capeman") joined Marc for "I was Born in Puerto Rico," written by Paul Simon for "The Capeman."
Other memorable moments were when Marc and his father performed a duet of "El Ultimo Beso," written by Marcs dad. There was also a great cuatro solo by Yomo Toro.
At one point Marc said, "This next song. You know why Im going to sing it, dont you? I sing it because I feel it." He then belted out "I Will Survive," which he has never recorded. The audience was behind him on that one. He will more than survive. He is now the brightest star in salsa music and will probably remain so for quite some time.
As huge a star as Marc Anthony has become, he is still humble and thankful for people believing in him. In fact, as Ralph Mercado was leaving the after party of the concert Marcs last words to him were, "Thank you for believing in me."