Marc Anthony, dominating tropical gentleman at the RCDE Stadium

Latinity from before, or always, that of Marc Anthony, before reggaeton and the urban impulses that today take the youth ahead. The New Yorker is one of the few in the industry that allows himself to fly over fashions (and he has been in his career for almost 30 years now), attracting a family-oriented audience with his neighborhood heartthrob profile and heavenly voicefigurine with a roguish background, lighting the fuse in concerts of such a torrid temperature, literally and metaphorically, as this Friday at the RCDE Stadium, in Cornellà.

Big party atmosphere on that stage that the artist already visited six years ago, with some 24,000 attendees (according to the organization) celebrating Latin power and giving in to his imperial moves since he appeared on the scene (after 35 minutes delay): nailed to the boards, dark glasses, circumspect. The voice, and the hint of a hard smile, exploded in the rapturous welcome theme, ‘Valió la pena’, between deep sighs from the stands before his rhymes with rising libido: “Long live the moments in your mouth and in your body , woman,” intoned citizen Marco Antonio Muñiz. As is common these days, feelings of relief and liberation, here in the most sensual and danceable lane, in a concert that suffered cancellations in 2020 and 2021.

party manifesto

Part of Marc Anthony’s repertoire has two versions, the Latin one and the one more akin to the global pop market, but in Cornellà the former prevailed, highlighted by an overwhelming formation with metals and powerful punch. There were songs from his past work such as ‘Y hay somebody’, with its heartfelt start in the form of a romantic ballad, the tremulous ‘Until yesterday’, with a Santana-style Latin rock solo, and another number, ‘Flor pálida’, which presented as one of his favourites, much appreciated by the ‘anthonyologists’. Echoes of relief on stage after two wasted years: “Finally, finally,” he repeated, before asking: “Where are my people?” What was left out of focus was the new album, ‘Pa’lla voy’, of which only two songs were played, the resentful ‘Mala’ (“you left me bad, bad, bad and expensive”) and the headline, luck of party manifesto for post-pandemic nights: “If there’s a party, I’ll go / If there’s a rumba, I’ll go / With good music and alcohol / When they call me, I’ll go”.

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It was about giving the public what it expected, recognizable and festive tunes, giving priority to hits, although, beyond the chosen songs, Marc Anthony’s repertoire was himself, with his emphatic grimaces, his left hand on his heart and that balance between street toughness and latent emotionality. In the section of ballads, mention for the ‘medley’ of ‘Abrázame muy fuerte’ (by Juan Gabriel), ‘Almohada’ (known in the voice of José José) and nothing less than ‘And who is he?’ (José Luis Perales), bearer of great emotional anxiety.

Marc Anthony, ‘one of us’ for that public with the compass facing south, who enjoyed the rhythmic rocking and feeling until the final piece, ‘Vivir mi vida’, an adaptation of ‘C’est la vie’ (by the king of rai-pop, Khaled), with his message of ‘carpe diem’ (“why cry, what for / if it hurts, a sorrow is forgotten”), trying to make difficult tribulations easy and filtering the very essence of latinidad.

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