TVD Live Shots: Marc Anthony at Eagle Bank Arena, 9/30

Before Marc Anthony took the stage on Friday, his band opened with “El Cantante,” made popular by the legendary Hector Lavoe. I don’t know if this is typical, but it happened to be the 70th anniversary of Lavoe’s birth. Coincidence?

This was not your jeans and t-shirt crowd either. People were decked out—most memorably the men in pressed shirts, nice jeans, boots—and the women in a variety of tight-fitting clothes and great shoes. Once the show started, most of the crowd was out of their seats, moving to the music, some couples dancing in the aisles. Some fans waved homemade signs and Puerto Rican flags.

Performing hit after hit, Anthony commanded the stage with an enigmatic presence that seemed too big for his small frame. Every song was a powerful display of both his voice and emotional expression. The only moment during the show that felt incomplete was during “Vivir Lo Nuestro.” Originally recorded as a duet with La India, Anthony continues to perform it live as a sort of hybrid solo, asking the women in the audience to sing the female part. When you hear La India in your head, but you hear a chorus of disparate voices instead, it’s a letdown. Why doesn’t he perform it with his female backup singer?

At the end of his set he went off script, first calling out all the countries he saw represented in the audience. The food is different, the Spanish dialects are different, but when you come here to America, he said, you check “Latino.” “We have to take care of each other. Don’t fall for Trump’s bullshit. He’s a con artist, a bigot, and a racist. Once they see the power we [Latinos] have, they will never fuck with us again. Go and vote. We’re gonna show unity and how loud we’re gonna be in about a month.”

And then he appropriately closed his set with “Mi Gente.”

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