Newcastle Entertainment Centre, October 3.
RICKY Martin has delivered one of Newcastle’s biggest shows of the year, fulfilling his promise to have the audience sweating, dancing and shaking their bon bons in a night of ‘‘intense adrenalin’’.
The Latino singer songwriter’s decision to deny media access to his first Australian show in more than a decade seemed unfounded: this was a seamless production without fault, complete with lights, video, 10 full or partial costume changes, eight dancers and a band comprised of musicians from all over the world.
Martin, 41, has been performing professionally since he was 12 and wears his on-stage charisma well.
This was the Grammy Award winning singer at his best; energetic, engaging, charming and still at the helm of a powerhouse voice, even when swivelling his hips and samba dancing his way through a 95 minute set.
Martin opened with new single Come With Me wearing a white suit and black leather fingerless leather gloves before moving on to Shake Your Bon Bon and It’s Alright.
‘‘How are you doing Newcastle?’’ he asked the shrieking crowd.
‘‘Thank you so much for being here tonight, it’s a very special night.
‘‘It’s been a long time, many many years since I’ve been in Australia – it had to be here in Newcastle.
‘‘I’m really having a good time, I’m just going to let go.’’
The audience followed suit, jumping to their feet for his most popular hit, Livin La Vida Loca, closely followed by She Bangs, performed with such energy it was hard to believe more than ten years had passed since it was topping the charts.
‘‘Forget about the problems in your life, forget about the problems at work, forget about all of your problems and allow yourself to be happy,’’ he said later, encouraging the crowd to wave their arms and dance along.
‘‘Put your hands in the air, who cares what people think? Who cares what people do?
‘‘Shake it, let it go, don’t be afraid.’’
Martin’s recent fanbase growth is arguably related to his role as a coach on television show The Voice Australia and he invited Team Ricky singers Luke Kennedy and Caterina Torres on stage to join him for acoustic renditions of She’s All I Ever Had, Private Emotion and Nobody Wants to Be Lonely.
But this wasn’t just a show of greatest hits, with Martin also performing a number of his lesser known but still popular Spanish language songs, including Vuelve and La Bomba, before Maria and encore The Cup Of Life.
‘‘Thank you so much for your love and passion– see you next time, because I’ll be back.’’
Then with a pat on his heart, a kiss blown to the audience and another hip swivel, he was gone.
Ricky Martin will perform in capital cities throughout October, including at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on Friday October 18 and Saturday October 19. See ticketek.com.au for more details.