REVIEW: Pitbull electrifies the AT&T Center | Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Reggeaton and Latin music fans in San Antonio saw Cuban-American rapper Pitbull perform in concert Sept. 9 at the AT&T Center. This concert was the 28th leg of the Latin icon’s “Can’t Stop Us Now” summer 2022 tour, scheduled for 52 concerts in total. Pitbull’s tour is joined by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and Jamaican rapper Sean Paul in select cities – only Azalea was present for the local gig.
While most opening acts are opportunities for fans to use the bathroom and visit the concession stand before the main act begins, Azalea’s opening for Pitbull was gripping and refreshing. . Her 40-minute set was a delicate balance between her biggest hits, such as “Black Widow” and “Work,” and songs only dedicated Azalea fans would know and sing along to, like “Started” and “Goddess.” His performance perfectly warmed up the crowd of around 20,000 people.
After Azalea’s opening peak, the energy fell to a sudden low during the delicate transition between her and Pitbull’s performance. There was a 30-minute hiatus that a few SiriusXM “Globalization” DJs attempted to fill. It might as well have been the second part of the pre-show, as the DJs couldn’t stop the crowd from rocking and getting irritated. While the musical style technically matched the vibe of the show, it felt redundant considering the nature of Pitbull’s setlist already consisting of several remixes and clubbing anthems.
Pitbull’s lively entrance, however, made up for the energy lost by the crowd during the DJ’s bizarre intermission. Decked out in all black and his signature sunglasses, Pitbull debuted with his 2012 hit, “Don’t Stop the Party.” Accompanied by a drummer, guitarist and DJ, Pitbull burst into a frenzied performance as the crowd sang and danced..
The bubbly intensity was maintained throughout Pitbull’s performance. His setlist was a sum of all the greatest hits of his musical career, interrupted by what can only be described as semi-motivational speeches from the artist.
“Thanks for the love.” Pitbull repeatedly told the audience. “Thank you for your support. Thank you for the opportunity.”
His tone was genuine and the crowd always cheered him on, as if he was reciprocating.
Pitbull also remarked to the audience that music is a “universal language”. He was likely referring to political controversies, divisions and polarization in the United States. It was a generic, all-purpose message of unity and tolerance. In other words, nothing that hasn’t been said or done before.
“It teaches us and reminds us that we all bleed the same blood; that we all breathe the same air,” Pitbull said during one of his speeches.
One of Pitbull’s most notable speaking moments came before a bizarre performance by country singer-songwriter Filmore.
In what can only be described as an ode to Western capitalism and the “American dream”, Pitbull referenced his Cuban roots to encourage fans to appreciate their freedom, which he described as “expensive” and “harsh “.
“The whole world wants a slice of the American pie. The world wants to live the American dream…I’m here to make sure the United States of America remains the United States of America and not the Divided States of America,” he said.
As Pitbull delivered this patriotic speech, an American flag fluttered brightly on the pixelated screen behind him. Chants of “United States!” UNITED STATES! USA!” could be heard around the stadium.
Pitbull was later joined by Filmore to perform the country song “USA” together. It was eerie and uncomfortable, but the song thankfully ended quickly and Pitbull’s show resumed with the level of scorching and energy one expects from the Latin entertainer.
The crowd knew the lyrics to every song on Pitbull’s setlist. Although they had a place to sit, almost everyone was on their feet, dancing to the music. All facets of Pitbull’s performance were in sync. The instrumentalists, the DJ playing specifically for Pitbull and his team of dancers all delivered the vibrant energy and suave nature that Mr. Worldwide is known for.
The concert ended satisfactorily with the performance of Pitbull’s biggest hit, “Give Me Everything”.
Although he could have done without the patriotic speeches, Pitbull delivered a fun and energetic performance, cultivated nostalgia for the early moments of his career, and demonstrated the timelessness of his music. The cost of entry is worth every penny.
Pitbull’s next stop is September 10 at the Sames Auto Arena in Laredo. The tour will conclude on October 20 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida.
For more information, visit Pitbull Official Site.