Two music legends restart concert series at Scotiabank Arena

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When are two Latin pop heartthrob of the 90s better than one?

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When it’s Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias, who played the first of two shows at the Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night.

The appearances of Martín de Puerto Rico, 49, and Iglesias de España, 46, became even more important in the eyes of their happy screaming and dancing Toronto fans, as it also meant the return of concerts in large-scale interiors to the city.

Scotiabank Arena officials confirmed that 580 days had passed since the last concert at the venue, and not a moment too soon, judging by the ecstatic reception.

The last time I saw a big show indoors was in December 2019 when I saw Celine Dion perform the first of two nights at the Scotiabank Arena, so it was an equally exciting outing, albeit a bit fast-paced for me.

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When you’ve only been around a handful of people for a long time, thousands can be intimidating.

And almost two years later, a lot has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic from the way we get our tickets (sent to mobile phones only), enter the arena (you must show proof of double vaccination and your ID issued by the government and can.Just bring a small bag of a certain size so I left mine at home) and what we do once inside (mandatory masks, although it was really hit or miss once people got to their seats and started singing and dancing ).

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The good news is that it only took me about 10 minutes to get into the venue on Thursday night, instead of waiting a lot longer at the box office sometimes to get my hard ticket.

As for social distancing, that too was hit or miss, with some rows completely empty and others seemingly packed.

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The current rules for indoor concerts are the least between 50% capacity or 10,000 people, but when it comes to Scotiabank Arena, that’s pretty much the same.

Both Martín and Iglesias, singing in English and Spanish, favored the big bands, the big stages, and the big light shows, though the former added dancers, drummers, and costume changes into the mix – starting with black leather shorts and finished with a puffy black jacket. The latter had great audience participation and twice ventured to a small stage at the back of the floor to get closer to fans.

Both sets were hour-long affairs, don’t forget they’re both dads now, with four kids for the show’s opener, Martin, and three for the closer Iglesias, but there were also encores with Iglesias delivering a slightly longer performance.

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Martin’s crowd pleaser included the opening of the set. Livin ‘la Vida Loca, Lola, Lola, She Bangs, Nobody Wants to Be Lonely (with a video appearance by Christina Aguilera), Maria and favorite encore The cup of Life.

The man can still move on stage like few others.

Iglesias, who reminded Toronto that he once lived in the city when he was 17 years old to record his first album: “I could not get a date,” joked, delivered such highlights as I like how it feels (with bursts of fire), We dance, be with you tonight (I love you) Hero and I like it with big white balloons falling from the ceiling during the encore.

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