June 15--Pitbull is tenacious.
The Miami rapper -- whose real name is Armando Perez -- simply refuses to leave the dance party. He kicks the groove into high from the start and spends the right of the night sending it into overdrive.
The man who seems to be everywhere these days -- endorsing products on TV, making guest appearances on singles by other artists and pushing his own records up the charts -- brought the dance party to Shoreline Amphitheatre on Friday night.
Pitbull proved to be a first-rate entertainer who's every bit as good at selling a lifestyle onstage as Jimmy Buffett or Toby Keith. His schtick is quite attractive, offering up a dreamland where the party never stops, the hangovers don't hurt and everybody is beautiful. He sells it with his clothes, his beats and his lyrics.
And people are most definitely buying.
Friday's show, which also featured an hourlong set by pop star Kesha as well as DJ music, drew a near full house to the 22,000-capacity venue. The crowd boogied throughout the nearly four-hour show, turning Mountain View into the dance party capital of the U.S. for at least one night.
Pitbull's greatest assets onstage are charisma and energy, both of which are far stronger than his rather mediocre voice. He couldn't always carry the tune, but he always carried the show.
Backed by a seven-piece band, which included two powerful percussionists, Pitbull hit the stage in a nicely tailored black suit,
matching button-up shirt and dark shades. He beamed his increasingly famous smile as he looked over the crowd, then began to race through "Hey Baby (Drop it to the Floor)," the smash from 2011's "Planet Pit."
"Do you like how it feels?" Pitbull barked as the first number came to a close.
They did. And this was an evening that was definitely more about "the feel" -- pure Miami dance club -- than any particular songs. Everything was over-the-top. And the crowd ate it up.
Pitbull occasionally provided a small degree of personal insight, such as when he talked about those who complain that he doesn't make "street music" anymore.
"I tell them, 'I made music to get out of the streets, not to stay in them,'" he said.
The roughly 80-minute set was filled with hits from throughout Pitbull's nine-year career, which has produced seven studio albums. He went back to the early days to play his first single, "Culo," and spent a good amount of time with last year's hit album "Global Warming," performing such tunes as "Feel This Moment," "Back in Time" and "Don't Stop the Party," making each tune count just as much, if not slightly more, than the last.
Kesha also proved handy at fueling a dance party during her
set, which included such top hits as "Tik Tok," "Blah Blah Blah" and "Your Love Is My Drug." Perhaps the most thing in her set were the dancers onstage: one was dressed up as a tiger, another as a giant beaver, and still others were in bunny and rooster suits. It looked like a convention of college sports mascots doing a routine from "A Chorus Line."
Now that's entertainment.
Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic, www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.
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