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Shakira makes the Amway Arena shake

Shake it up, baby.

That phrase does more than describe the obvious gyrations that power a Shakira concert, such as the frisky performance on Tuesday at the Amway Arena.

It also would apply to the way the singer inventively mixes together the global influences that define her style.

(See photo gallery here.)

At different points in Tuesday’s generous 1 hour and 45 minute show, there were flashes of time-tested American pop, infectious cumbia rhythms, rock and hip-hop.

“I just want to please you,” the singer cooed seductively in the show’s opening moments.

With all those flavors on the plate, how could she miss?

Although the preferred temperature for the evening was caliente, Shakira opened the night with an almost reverential tone. Dressed in a flowing pink gown and matching shawl, she emerged in the midst of the audience and marched in a slow processional to the stage, posing for pictures as she sang the haunting “Pienso En Ti.”

Immediately, though, things shifted into high gear, with the singer giving the arena rock treatment to signature songs such as “Si Te Vas” (If You Go). In the opening moments, the onslaught was too much as the band’s blaring guitars and drums unnecessarily obscured her voice.

Fortunately, by the time Shakira and the 8-piece ensemble moved into “Whenever, Wherever,” the balance had been restored. It also was the first time all night that the music found the captivating beat that separates Shakira from so many other pop stars.

She diminishes her distinctive power when she turns the volume too high. One of the best musical moments of the night was a stripped down acoustic interlude that opened with the group’s subdued take on Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” Powered by a booming drum and gentle strumming of a charango, the ballad segued into an expressive dance routine.

Then, in a stroke of masterful timing, Shakira lifted the mood with a lilting “Gypsy,” carried along by accordion, fiddles and the rhythm section.

By comparison, unimaginative power ballads such as “Underneath Your Clothes” are a waste of her energy. The plodding hip-hop beat of “Gordita” was slightly better, thanks to the visual distraction of the giant face on the video screen doing the rapping.

Wisely, Shakira closed the show with a fiery stretch built for dancing that finished with the twin punch of “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka,” the anthem made famous this past summer at the World Cup.

In the end, Shakira’s hips weren’t the only thing shaking: the arena was, too.


The concert was AMAZING! Great energy and flow, kept it entertaining and Shakira has a unique and powerful voice thats great!

Great concert! I guess amway arena concessions is not stocking liquor. Bars were sold out before show started!

I am amazed at shakira’s talent…She looks as beautiful as how she looks on magazine pictures and videos, and her voice sounds even better when singing live on stage. My husband and I loved the concert. Shakira will rock forever.

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I’ve officially been the music critic at the Orlando Sentinel for 10 years, but the topic has been a lifelong distraction...more | E-mail Jim Abbott

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