Enrique Iglesias Charms San Jose

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H. Britto

Enrique Iglesias receives a standing ovation from fans at the HP Pavilion.

Helen Britto, Staff Writer

Enrique Iglesias. While most teens who hear that name immediately think of the insanely hot pop star jumping around with the Jersey Shore cast in his “I Like It” music video, anyone over 40 who hears it can’t help but be taken back to the time of Julio Iglesias: a man who needed no introduction, and who stole the hearts of girls everywhere. It turns out, like father like son.

On October 7, from the moment Enrique Iglesias took the stage of the San Jose HP Pavilion, fans everywhere swooned. “I’d dump my husband in a second for Enrique!” a woman shouted as Iglesias began his first song. “He’s just so hot, and so sweet.”

And that he was. The instant the show began, the Latin charm was turned on full blast. Beginning the concert with his chart-topping single “Tonight I’m Lovin You”, Iglesias showed that although this was the eleventh stop on his North American tour, he was going to give it all he had.

For over 30 minutes Iglesias ran around the stage belting his hits and high-fiving audience members. The Spanish pop star was a mesmerizing ball of energy that kept everyone from the front row to the nosebleeds entertained. It wasn’t until it came time to choose one lucky fan to come onstage that the audience began to hush in hopes that their dreams would come true.

Choosing a fan to come onstage is a well-known Iglesias tradition, and girls throughout the stadium came fully prepared. Everywhere you looked, a bedazzled sign could be seen, begging Iglesias for the opportunity to be plucked out of the audience and placed into his arms. However, when the time came to decide, many were surprised by his selection.

As it turns out Iglesias’s fan base has no gender limitation, and the pop star acknowledged this by selecting 17 year-old Jonathan from San Jose. While onstage, Iglesias chatted with Jonathan, trying to warm him up to the idea of being in front of large crowd, filled with thousands of disappointed girls. Iglesias then asked Jonathan to sing with him, and all were surprised to discover the teen actually had a decent voice. By the end of Jonathan’s song, fans had transformed from sour to sweet, and cheers could be heard throughout the Pavilion.

Fully aware of the benefits of keeping a stadium of 20,000 people happy, Iglesias decided to tailor his show to fit the audience’s needs. Recognizing the predominately Spanish-speaking crowd, Iglesias often spoke in Spanish and even offered up an array of bilingual hits. He didn’t stop there. Recalling the months he lived in the Bay Area, Iglesias decided to dedicate a song to all those in San Jose entitled “Cuando Me Enamoro” (When I Fell in Love). It was during this song that Iglesias displayed his power to take a screaming crowd of 20,000, and turn them into emotional wrecks. Audience members everywhere began to tear up, and the woman next to me, again turned around and remarked, “See, this is why I love him. He has such soul.”

Even if you don’t love his music, it’s easy to love Iglesias. If there were ever an example to prove my point, it would be Victor Hernandez. Hernandez’s girlfriend dragged him to the show, in a fashion that he described as “kicking and screaming.” And can you blame him? Who would want to go to a concert where all their girlfriend would do is fawn over the guy singing? No one.

Eventually, however, Hernandez warmed to the show and could even be found singing along. After the performance when asked what he thought, Hernandez replied, “I was actually surprised. I’m not in to that kind of music, but it was a really fun concert.”

Iglesias’s genuine nature is hard to fake. He seems to truly adore his fans, and the feeling is certainly mutual. He uses his unique ability to connect with his fans, as a way to make all those in the stadium feel special. It’s a kind of stage presence that all artists crave, but few have. On Oct. 7, Iglesias proved to all of San Jose that there was much more to the Latin pop star than just a pretty face.