made it more than clear, tonight more than ever, that he’s free from
any shame or bounds that may have had him gagged prior to his huge
announcement last year.
Ricky’s new album “MAS” (Musica + Alma + Sexo) dropped and of course this year’s first tour of the same name, in almost 4 years was on!! He was in Chicago!!
brought his new life, his famous pelvic thrusting dance moves, along
with a stage full of dancers, and a 10 piece band to the Allstate Arena
for a reunion full of fun and pride.
Opening with “Sera Sera”, wearing his famous leather pants and vest, Ricky proved he still has his positive energy and sheer appreciation and love for what he does. He also made it known he was back and he is a changed man as he leapt off the three story high structure where his motorcycle helmet wearing dancers caught him at the bottom. He immediately moved to “Livin’ La Vida Loca”, “Shake Your Bon Bon”, “Loaded” and “She Bangs”. When he belted out “Vuelve”, he gave me chills.
It was a message, a new beginning. It was a leap of trust between Ricky and his fans, that adore him, that no matter what, he was back!! From that point on, every moment was filled with energy, pride, happiness and dancing!!
Ricky displayed two separate videos between sets where one of his fabulous back up dancers, and again later one of his talented rock guitarist, were able to tell their individual stories of struggle. Not just anti-gay struggles but also anti-racist messages were delivered.
Ricky demonstrated how much he cares about all struggles, health, child welfare and of course his homeland, Puerto Rico. He shared his passion to help people who struggle by delivering his through through his music. He shows the ability to be a voice for all he cares for and uses it through his music.
During another between set video, different than the first, he showed off his yoga moves and bared his soul. Concentrating, meditating, chanting and expressing his new found power, being himself. It was a complete tease. It was a magnificent piece and an opening to the real man.
The intro to “La Bomba” brought the audience his love for his homeland, Puerto Rico. Huge pictures of la isla were on the jumbo screens showing off the beautiful paradise. They were shown to entice the audience and lure them (like a tourism promotion) as the place to be “if you’re sick of the rain and cold”. Fans were ecstatic and I was tempted to leave immediately!
After a compilation of ballads, more visions of his beautiful island, the show was more high energy then I could have ever expected. The brass section took center stage again and ended with “Lola, Lola” which wrapped the show up.
Ricky didn’t take long to come back for his encore sporting a t-shirt that said Tu You=Me Yo and finally announcing to his standing ovation before his final goodnight, “I don’t want more rights, I just want the same rights for everyone!”
Te amo Kikito!! Come back to Chicago soon!!
Photos courtesy of Javier Enriquez – firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos also by Andrew A. Nelles, Special to Chicago Tribune Company, Used with permission, All Rights Reserved.
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