Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena was packed to its capacity with adoring Ricky Martin fans, when Mr Livin’ La Vida Loca himself was in town for just one night, shaking his bon-bon and spreading his message of love, tolerance and world peace.
Fellow The Voice judge Delta Goodrem kicked off her high heels (literally) and warmed up the crowd with her smooth voice as she tickled the ivory keys. After a short intermission, suddenly flashing lights and a thunderous rumble filled the arena, Martin was lowered from the ceiling onto the stage opening his show with a bang of positive energy.
What ensued was a slew of his iconic hits, like She Bangs, Shake Your Bon-Bon, Livin’ La Vida Loca, as well as the Spanish language songs like Maria, Adrenalina and even the slower but emotionally laden Vuelve and She’s All I Ever Had; each song was welcomed by deafening screams from an extremely enthusiastic audience, myself included.
Martin wound things down a bit, by bringing onstage the runner-up and top 'Team Ricky' finalist on The Voice 2014, Jackson Thomas who performed a couple of songs along with his mentor. Delta Goodrem then returned to the stage and joined Martin in a duet. Then Martin took the opportunity to mention his charity, Ricky Martin Foundation, which focuses on helping children who are affected by poverty. He also touched upon the recent earthquake tragedy which Nepal has experienced, and he dedicated the show to its victims.
The second part of the show picked up in pace once more, with a feeling of carneval. The rhythm became faster, and the dancing onstage as well as in the audience turned hotter. Scanning the arena, I couldn’t see one person sitting down, we were all on our feet dancing our hearts out… it did help that Martin urged us all to stand up, throw away our inhibitions and dance like we ‘don’t care’.
He encouraged a sing-along dance competition between the two sides of the venue to his song Por Arriba, Por Abajo, which also included four simple steps to be followed. The result was awesome!
In the end, we did indeed shed all our inhibitions and danced like we were sugar pumped kids at a Wiggles concert, only, instead of four guys and a big red car making us scream, this concert had a red hot Puerto Rican god (what’s his secret for eternal youth, really?) a Mustang convertible and a team of sexy dancers, who put on a hell-of-a great show.
Martin successfully helped Melbournians channel their inner Latino, with his One World Tour, and he will surely do so in Adelaide and Perth too. Makes me want to jump on a plane and do it all over again there.
Nine Live and Sony Music Entertainment present
One World Tour
Special Guests: Delta Goodrem and Jackson Thomas
Venue: Rod Laver Arena | Batman Ave & Olympic Blvd, Melbourne
Date: 5 May 2015
Tickets: $122 – $173