Shakira Shakes Her Assets in LA (Concert Review)

“Shakira, Shakira.”  It seems like those are the most commonly used words “kind” people harmoniously respond with whenever I ask them if they are a fan of Shakira or not.  And you know what?  I seemingly never grow tired of it.  You see, like the Arabic meaning of Shakira’s name, I have a lot to be “thankful” for when it comes to the music and hip-shakin’ moves of my favorite Colombian export. Make no mistake my friends, Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie,” and for the first time in my life, I was a “witness” to the fact (move over Lebron James…Lebron who?) as I hypnotically stood four rows back from the stage (thanks again Jorge) during her energetic, but trance inducing performance at the Los Angeles Staples Center this past Saturday evening (October 23rd).

Last November I embarked on a brave mission to tackle my first CD review ever, Shakira’s She Wolf (see here), and despite missing the chance to dissect her latest, more dominant effort, Sale El Sol, I am about to go forth and conquer another milestone as I attempt my first-ever concert review, here.  And the crowd goes wild!  Cheers abound from the deepest depths of cyber space over my announcement.  Ha ha.  No but seriously, if I drop the proverbial ball with this review, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment fields below.  That’s what it’s there for (and for gracious words of praise too…LOL).  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…at least I don’t think so.  So anyway, “Shakira, Shakira…”

So before we begin, you are probably all wondering about the obvious question, so let me address that and get it over with.  Yes.  Yes, I traveled all the way from Cleveland, Ohio to the city where hope, dreams and talent are birthed and squashed all so easily, within a mere 15 minutes of time.  After all, it only seemed natural to make the 5-hour pilgrimage out here to Los Angeles, a place that I am happy to call my second home (my wife’s family lives out here).  It’s a win-win for everyone involved.  I get what I want, my wife gets to see all her family and again, I get what I want.  And “Nothing Else Matters…”

As I told my Why So Blu staff writers, during a conference call last weekend, none of my favorite musical artists ever come to Cleveland, Ohio.  Madonna skips the state entirely, Shakira never even comes remotely close and most recently, even the devilish looking and recently reinvented, Rob Zombie started to ignore the Rock’n’Roll capital of the world.  Don’t let our city’s musical nickname fool you, Cleveland is a city struck hard by this economy and many artists, unless you are Lady Gaga, are aware of the fact that the people in this town just don’t have a lot of money to spend on luxuries and recreation.  And with Lebron James’ recent departure (can you tell I still hold a grudge against him?), the city is in dire need of a new hero to lift us up on their back and single-handedly rescue us, but until that day happens, we will remain a city vigilantly struggling to get by with essentially little to brag about, unless you like hospitals or something.  I always find it humorous when people say they are going to visit Cleveland and ask what there is to do.  It never fails; I always draw a blank when trying to respond to that question since you can pretty much see all we have to offer within a sheer matter of hours.  So yes, I came all the way to Los Angeles to see one of my favorite artists of all-time hypnotically shake her hips and perform just for me…and oh yeah, I guess I should mention the other 20 thousand screaming fans within the sold out arena.  Damn them all!

Hmm, I guess I also forgot to mention that my boy Jorge (I hope he does not mind me dropping his name here again) hooked me up with a coveted Meet and Greet pass to meet the Colombian superstar before her performance.  And all I have to say about that is BOYAKASHA!  When I saw her it was like an angel fell from heaven and appeared before me, and I don’t even know if I believe in all that angel stuff before, but I definitely do now!  After all, it is the city of Los “Angeles.”  Anyway, there were about 50 of us fans with this exclusive access and she met with us very briefly in groups of six.  Once again thank you Jorge!  There was a Shakira lookalike fan in my group.  I thought she was going to have a panic attack.  She was so nervous as we stood there waiting and anticipating the arrival of the Latin rock goddess.  I remember her asking me if I was nervous.  I told her I slightly was, but just glad to still have my voice.  I don’t know what happened people.  This never happens to me, but when she made her entrance and invited us all to hug her, it was like someone literally sliced my vocal cords.  I had the question that I wanted to ask her, ready to go on the tip of my tongue, but the words were unable to audibly form and therefore, no sound waves were produced.  For the first time in my life, I was truly star struck.  Make no mistake people; her natural beauty (why do I have that Bruno Mars song in my head right now?) should be appreciated like the Mona Lisa or any other fine work of art.  She is the real deal!  Sadly they to say, they confiscated all our cell phones and cameras before meeting her, but who the hell cares, I touched Shakira!

So after my 60-second religious experience I found my way back to my too good to be true fourth row seat.  When the patrons next to me asked me how it went backstage I told them that I was never going to wash my hands again after having them around Shakira’s bare back.  Of course, that moment was short lived when I had to go to the bathroom two hours later and inevitably, had to wash my hands, but I know, TMI.  So when all was said and done, Shakira did not officially take the stage until around 9:30 PM, despite an 8 PM start time on the ticket stubs.  But unlike most of the fans there in attendance, the 49 others and myself had little to complain about other than the fact that we probably all wish the Meet and Greet could have at least been a little longer, but beggars can’t be choosers and you definitely all cannot be Brian White.  The world does not need two of us…trust me.

So anyway, getting back on topic, Shakira entered the arena from the rear appearing in a flowing hot pink gown while performing “Pienso en Ti” as she made her way through the crowd who were all eager to greet and kiss her as she walked by.  I guess if I only have one complaint about the entire evening, it would be with her choice of how she opened the show.  I don’t know, maybe it is just me, but when I think of all the great rock concerts I have ever been to me in my lifetime they have all opened up with a bang and on a high note, not a low one.  But believe me folks, my complaint here was very short-lived as she quickly dispensed the pink gown and was quickly gyrating her hips to the infectious groove of She Wolf’s “Why Wait.”  And from that moment on, it was all over for me.  She was like a drug and I just had to have more of her.  And besides, she already had me from “hello” some 45 minutes ago.

What threw me for the biggest loop of the night was the new take on Shakira’s staple track, “Whenever Wherever.”  I guess I should dub this new rendition the definitive “rock version.”  I must have grown so accustomed to her 10+ minute belly-dancing renditions of this song in past concerts that I never saw this song coming from the intro of the chugging metal-like guitars.  Being the hard rock fan that I am, I have to admit that it was a much-welcomed surprise.  Also, integrated within the commercial radio track, they spruced it up even more by mixing in a little of EMF’s “Unbelievable” that seemingly fit perfectly.  I love when artists play around like this.  Who wants to hear the same exact carbon copy thing that they always play on the radio, anyway?  I sure don’t.

Before her acoustic interlude, I (I’m so selfish…ha!) was treated to a performance of one of my favorite 90’s Spanish tracks of hers, “Inevitable.”  Once again, being the hard rocker that I am, that song has one of the coolest breakdowns after the second chorus as it bangs its way to an erupting and eccentric conclusion, much like a volcano spewing its last load of lava.  You get the picture, right?  It’s a unique track in the respect that it doesn’t follow the formulaic structure of songwriting.  It’s verse, chorus, verse, chorus and then balls-to-the-wall eruption.  It’s every guitarist’s dream.  It never goes back to the chorus again and to be honest, I could not care less.  It’s always a crowd pleaser and I hope she never decides to drop it from her setlist.  But anyway, like I was saying, Shakira and the core members of her band ventured out to the middle of the catwalk and paid homage to one of music’s greatest metal bands, Metallica, as she belted out an acoustic cover of “Nothing Else Matters,” as only Shakira’s unique voice can deliver.  I was not going into Saturday night’s performance spoiler-free so I knew this was coming, and thankfully, she did not let me down.  She hit it out of the ballpark, in my opinion.  She concluded her acoustic set on the catwalk with the crowd pleaser, “Gypsy,” which she performed both in English and in Spanish.

After a quick costume change she was back on stage reenacting her famous dance moves from her 2005 Spanish hit video, “La Tortura.”  Her choice of moves and gestures here may have some naysayers in debate over her dancing abilities, but there’s no denying her raw sexual energy that emancipates out of her during this track just like perspiration from exerted sweat glands.  In other words, she’s hot no matter what she does.  A couple songs later she slowed down the pace momentarily with her song “Underneath Your Clothes.”  Personally, I can do with or without this track, but nevertheless it was an enjoyable presentation so I just rolled with it.

The night was definitely not short on surprises as Shakira announced there was a special guest in the house and before you knew it rapper Residente of Callie 13 was on the stage and together; they both delivered a high-octane take on Shakira’s newest sure fire hit from Sale El Sol, “Gordita.” This was definitely a highlight of the night for me, but this high was short-lived as Shakira delivered even more powerful performances of “Loca” and “She Wolf.”  Man, I came a long way with the song “She Wolf” over the past year.  I went from not caring for it initially to really loving it now.  The fact that the stage show never failed to disappoint was a really big factor in re-imagining the intensity of these radio hits.

Shakira finished off her main setlist with my second favorite Spanish track, “Ojos Asi.”  Why is this a favorite of mine?  Well besides it being a really good song, with very strong Arabic accents and roots, it’s always the time in the show where Shakira really shows off her “assets” if you know what I mean.  And something tells me that you really know what I mean without any further explanation.  Before you knew it, 20 thousand fans were all on their feet screaming for their Latina “Princess of Power” (I will never run out of pseudonyms to describe Shakira…you can take that to the bank Dan Gilbert) to grace the stage with her royal presence.  “Thankfully,” there’s that word again, Shakira did not make her fans wait too long.

Shakira ended up returning to the center stage for a three-song encore, which initially saw her donning a beautiful royal blue dress before trading it in for her curvaceous grass-like skirt that she made famous in the 2005 “Hips Don’t Lie” music video.  Remember that little track?  Well referring to “Hips Don’t Lie” as a little track is pretty much a facetious understatement for a song that went on to become the best selling song of the 2000’s.  This is the part of the review where I am going to separate and propel Shakira in front of her competition and I’m sure many people won’t agree with me, especially Why So Blu staff writer Gregg Senko.  There was not one single minute during Saturday’s night performance where Shakira did not give 110% unlike my recent trip to see Lady Gaga this summer at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.  You could tell during a few songs that Lady Gaga’s mind just wasn’t always there.  This was especially true during her performance of “Bad Romance,” and that was very upsetting to me as it is one of my favorite songs of hers.  When an artist does not give it their all while performing the songs that made them famous in the first place, I start to lose interest in them very fast.  Now Shakira on the other hand, it was almost like she saved her best for last as she turned the energy dials up way past 10 to conclude her performance with you guessed it, “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa).”

“Waka Waka” was introduced by a short video interlude that consisted of African children exclaiming what they want to be in life.  The motivational clip served as an instant backdrop to accelerate one of the most energetic performances of the night as Shakira was joined onstage by a whole slew of teenage dancers (randomly selected and pre-qualified ahead of time by local radio stations), her full band and confetti blowing machines as they all harmoniously delivered a finale like none other, ensuring Shakira went out on top.  Ha ha, like there was ever any doubt of that not happening.  Everyone in the arena was on their feet as they applauded through the darkness until the house lights came back on and even then the fans were dancing everywhere you looked.  It’s very rare that an artist can ignite a party like this and have it sustain long after they are gone.  That’s always a sign of a successful show, if you ask me.  But you didn’t ask me so you will just have to take my word for what it is…the truth.

Well ladies and gentlemen, that concludes my recap of Saturday night’s orgasmic extravaganza and my first concert review.  I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did while re-living it in my head.  This will definitely go down as one of the best nights of my life.  I mean come on, how often can you say you held a goddess?  I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the Blu-ray release of this tour.  Word has it that Sony has plans to bring this release to the Blu-ray format in 3D.  I don’t know, but that just might be the right type of ammunition I need to make the transition to 3D at home.   We’ll see.


Just a disclaimer…all the pictures contained within this review were taken by me and my crappy Canon pocket camera.  I know some of them are pretty rough and I apologize about the horrible quality, but that’s all I was allowed to bring into the arena.  Hopefully next time the images I take will be a lot better (hint…hint), but for now, the results may vary.  Hey, just be happy with what you got.  Geez!  I’m kidding folks.  Enjoy the rest of the pictures and a quick video I have included below.



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

21 Responses to “Shakira Shakes Her Assets in LA (Concert Review)”

  1. Gregg

    Incredibly comprehensive review! Well done! Though I don’t know if I’d compare her beauty with the Mona Lisa since the painting was of Da Vinci in female form. No concert review has ever made me quite feel like I experienced even the most minute fraction of the event. This one did. It sounds like Shakira’s show didn’t have the costume-changing buzz kill that Gaga’s had. Would you agree?

  2. Brian White

    Ha ha. Gotcha on the Mona Lisa thing. I think you know where I was going with that statement 🙂

    Anyway, I would agree with you. The difference between Shakira and Gaga was the fact that Shakira kind of had the same core outfit on underneath her clothes (no pun intended) and it was easy for her to run behind the drum set and strip off clothes 🙂

    Thans for the praise Gregg. I appreciate it!

  3. Gerard Iribe

    Great review, B. I did not know you had meet and greet seats. I can see how that would have sealed the deal of having you come to L.A. from all the way over there.

  4. Sean Ferguson

    I’m glad you had a lot of fun and that you got to meet her! It’s even better that you didn’t get arrested! Make sure you have fun in LA while you are still in our great state. I’m hoping that we can meet up this Wednesday so we will need to make a plan.

  5. rpvee

    Fantastically fun review!! And the pictures aren’t so bad. Ojos Asi is indeed an awesome song. I was at the show in New York City, and had the time of my life. I wrote a review also, though it was almost insanely long! haha: http://www.shakiramedia.com/articles/detail/2246

    Anyways, again, great review!! And you’re so lucky to have met her!!

  6. Monica

    Thanks for the review! It’s always nice to get a fan perspective instead of the (usually snobbish or uninterested) newspaper reviews. I really like your description of “Inevitable”. It’s a great point to make that the chorus isn’t sung again after the “eruption” as you call it (which is my favorite part of the song). Unusual for a radio single.

    Did you consider Chicago? I’m from Cincinnati and that’s where I’ll be seeing her.

    And sorry, but it’s a pet peeve: the country is Colombia (with a second O), not Columbia.

  7. Brian White

    Yes…I need to fix that typo. Thanks!

    Thanks for all the positive feedback. I appreciate it.

    @rpvee. I will check ur review out.

    @Monica. When is the Chicago concert?

  8. Monica

    Chicago is the last US show, 10/29. I’ve been a fan since ’98 or ’99 and have never seen her live, so this go ’round I told myself I was going to stop waiting for her to play a closer city and just get myself to the nearest show 🙂

  9. Oleg

    Great job Brian, as always! wish I had time to go on the concert myself…

  10. Brian White

    @Monica. Darn! I’m stuck in LA until the 30th or else I would BE there!

    Will you report back and let me know how it was please!?

  11. rpvee

    Let me know what you think!!

    And I agree with Monica – no matter how many times I’ve heard, it wasn’t until this review that I noticed Inevitable indeed has no final chorus! Good observation.

  12. Brian White


    Wow dude! That’s quite an exquisite recount you have there (your link above).

    Tell me something…how did you remember all the details of the show? Did you take notes during.

    Well…first thing is first…I definitely liked how you set up your story and the incredible level of detail.

    I’m going to have to call on you to write some concert reviews around here in the future 🙂

  13. Lei Roses

    Awesome review!

    I attended this performance as well at the Staple’s Center.
    I had the 2nd row seat view, it was an amazing and wonderful performance.
    Great show, amazing energy! Talented performer, Shakira is one of a kind.

    Lei Roses

  14. rpvee

    Well over the next week after the concert, I was literally still taking it all in, so when I finally sat down to write the review, I had to use Youtube videos to reference exactly what happened. However, as opposed to just reporting on what I saw in the videos, I simply used them to remind myself of my own perspective of the events.

    There’s no way I could possibly write notes during the show, though. I’m simply a mega-fan like any other, and was thus jumping and screaming the whole time! haha

    So glad you liked it! 😀

  15. Harsh neg

    I can say that people aware lord trinetra & chandi dancing steps & mixing also…/////

  16. Brian White

    Again…thanks everyone for their kind words on this review! I found the review over here this morning on one of my favorite Shakira websites over the years: http://www.shakiramedia.com/articles/detail/2313 YEA!

  17. rpvee

    Yup, Media collects every article it finds on Shakira. Someone posted the link to your review on the forum, too!

  18. Sara

    Such a lively, vibrant, and comprenhensive review. I too want to get the blu-ray of this concert.
    You are a funny man. Made me giggled so much :O)

  19. Brian White

    Thanks Sara! I appreciate it! Glad I could make you laugh 🙂

  20. Erika

    Great review Brian, very funny.

    Love the pics, she looks amazing.

  21. Ramon

    I have waited 10+ years to see this woman live, I have loved her since before I hit puberty, and I’m 25 now. I attended the same show as you, and I was floored. I was utterly stunned as to how amazing she is live! Your review was spot on, and as one MEGA HARDCORE Shakira fan to another, thank you for this amazing review!