Martin's U.S.-tour kickoff offers intimate setting
María Cortés González
El Paso Times
Friday, January 13, 2006
El Pasoan Dee Genera will never forget seeing Latin heartthrob Ricky Martin's performance at the Sun Bowl in July 2000.
"It was such a good concert. And he's such a good dancer. But I wasn't close enough," Genera joked.
Along with Genera, more than 47,000 fans filled the Sun Bowl, excited to be a part of the Martin lovefest.
After about a six-year absence, Martin is ready to create another memorable concert experience in El Paso.
This one will be a little different. Only 2,500 fans will get to see Martin promote "Life," his first English language album in five years, Sunday in an intimate setting, the Abraham Chavez Theatre. The concert, part of his "One Night Only" tour, is sold out.
El Paso is the first stop of the U.S. tour, which will hit 18 cities in four weeks. Martin just completed a sold-out Latin American concert tour.
Martin said he is looking forward to smaller venues and reconnecting with fans.
"Being back on stage was exhilarating," he said in a news release. "The concept that I created for this show is very powerful. It is all about the music and it reflects where I am at today, it represents my life ... the influences from around the world I encountered when recording this album and my whole life experience, as well as (people) I have met while traveling."
Martin said it is important to play smaller venues such as the Abraham Chavez.
"We decided to go for more intimate venues than I have played in the past for one reason ... to reconnect, to create a very special moment with each audience in each city and make it a night to remember," he said.
Martin is proud of his new work, which debuted in October in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200.
"I believe this album is global," he said. "My dream is to unite lifestyles with my music. That's why I went from rock to Middle Eastern sounds, from Asian to hip-hop, from pop to reggaetón, making it easy for people from all over the world to relate."
Genera, who received tickets to the concert as a Christmas gift, is psyched about the concert.
"I'm still a big fan," she said. "I've been listening to his older CDs and I just saw a new video for 'I Don't Care' on the Internet. It's a good song."
Martin has received a lot of attention for his recent charity work.
A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to the Ricky Martin Foundation. The foundation's programs include: People for Children, an effort to fight international child trafficking; RMF Tsunami Relief Fund, Martin's partnership with Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for those affected by the tsunami in Thailand; and charities in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America.
Martin also will perform Feb. 25 at the Taj Mahal in the first show of the 8th Wonder of the World benefit concert series. The series is a global drive to raise awareness about AIDS, publicity director Amanda Bartz said.
Martin "has been really committed to helping children affected by HIV and AIDS," Bartz said. "He's really a great philanthropist. It shows him in a different light and not just as an international star."
According to news-release materials from the 8th Wonder concert series, India has 5.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS.
Bartz said other performers have not been announced, but the concerts will be every six months for the next five years at various world landmarks. The last concert will be in New York in 2010.