Last Night: Gilberto Santa Rosa at Hard Rock Live

Categories: Concert Review

Gilberto Santa Rosa
Hard Rock Live
August 9, 2007

A stunning – and obviously health conscious - woman sensually swayed her hips and caressed her long black hair from the second level railing for most of Gilberto Santa Rosa’s performance last night at the Hard Rock Live.

Despite going relatively unnoticed much of the evening – Puerto Rican flag and all - she exhibited arousing moves and exceptional stamina while hardly taking a break during the concert. But anybody in attendance would probably agree it was practically impossible to take a seat.

Displaying unforeseen vocal range, child-like exuberance and even improved dancing ability, Santa Rosa had the crowd of about 3,000 on its feet and moving from the moment he appeared on stage to an
instrumental medley right up to an encore of “Que Manera De Quererte” (What A Way to Love You) during the closing moments.

Always one to play what women want to hear, the dapperly-dressed Puerto Rican salsero didn’t disappoint the legions of female supporters with energetic and improvisation-filled renditions of some of his biggest hits, including “Conciencia” (Conscience) and “Vivir Sin Ella” (Living Without Her) that had them shaking it in the aisles.

Santa Rosa also showed off great range as he delivered a beautiful version of “Soledad” (Loneliness) that drew one of many standing ovations during the show.

Although he leaned on his more popular tracks of the last decade or so, Santa Rosa used good judgment in blending the old with the new during the show.

He even delighted some of his older fans with some of his early hits like “Lluvia” (Rain) and “Botaron La Pelota” (They Threw The Ball Away) from his days with Willie Rosario y Su Orquesta.

But nothing came close to equaling the emotion felt throughout the auditorium than when Santa Rosa broke into an extended version of “Perdoname” (Forgive Me), a soothing and rheumatic song filled with lyrics of forgiveness.

Santa Rosa continued to improvise lyrics about begging and pleading with a woman to give him another chance over a light texture of piano and congas as the crowd sang along to the words.

The moment captured the true connection Santa Rosa has with his audience each time he takes the stage and put a fitting end to a heartwarming two-hour affair with the singer and his fans. -- Fernando Ruano Jr.

Critic’s Notebook:

Personal bias: For a singer of his status Santa Rosa appears to offer genuine interaction with the crowd and always goes out of his way to make them feel as if they’re a part of the show, he makes it personal. “El Caballero De La Salsa” never fails to live up to his moniker, he’s a true gentleman.

Random Detail: Dominican merenguero Fernando Villalona didn’t show any ill effects of his past troubles as he displayed his typical piercing voice and charisma during a 45-minute performance before Santa Rosa took the stage. This dude can flat out bring it!

By The Way: There were a handful of hotties in the second level with panties in hand but could never get close enough to Santa Rosa to present them to him.



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