By Andrea Clarke
SPANISH heartthrob Enrique Iglesias made a welcome return to Belfast last night and from where I was sitting he definitely got pulses racing.
Son of Latin lothario Julio Iglesias, Enrique has established himself as a singer in his own right, becoming one of the biggest selling Spanish musical artists in the world.
Appearing on stage at the Odyssey Arena in a simple t-shirt, jeans and trainers, the singer oozed cool as he performed renditions of his well-known hit singles Baliamos, Rhythm Devine and Don’t Turn Off The Lights, as well as tracks from his new album Insomniac including Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song) and Push.
And with the audience, the majority of which was female – surprise, surprise – hanging on his every note, Enrique had Belfast hooked.
He told the crowd: “It’s been five years, five months, 18 days and 20 hours since I was last in Belfast.
“And I promised myself one thing, when I came back I’ll record this concert because this is the place”.
The fans, of course, went crazy at the idea of being filmed for TV but it wasn’t difficult to tell that all they cared about was the 32-year-old singer.
Enrique was very interactive with the audience, praising them for their support over the years.
He said: “There are days I feel like staying in bed all day, then I come here and see you guys, and I think why am I complaining I’ve got the best f**king job in the world.
“I’m not saying this to kiss your ass, you guys keep me going so thank you so much”.
He then brought a couple from the audience up on stage and sang a cover of the Bob Dylan classic, Knocking on Heaven’s Door.
The local pair, who had been to see Enrique in concert the previous night in Dublin, were in awe of the singer. He chatted to them as if there wasn’t 10,000 other people in the room. He posed for pictures and did a shot of vodka with the couple before leading them off stage.
And if that wasn’t enough, later he invited one lucky lady onto the stage to serenade her with his number one selling track Hero.
The woman, 21-year-old Leanne from Greyabbey, danced with him and even gave his bum a cheeky pinch before he kissed her – much to the envy of many audience members. They disappeared from the stage in darkness.
Enrique returned moments later to close the concert with the up tempo number Escape.
All in all, I have to say the man puts on a good show – no gimmicks, no stunts, just the voice.
And I think last night’s concertgoers would agree, he’s easy on the eye as well.