Music

Song, dance and adrenaline rush at J-LO’s birthday concert

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Singer Jennifer Lopez was the cynosure of all eyes as she celebrated her 50th birthday with a high-voltage show ‘It’s My Party’ in Chicago

Unapologetically glamorous and over-the-top visuals marked Jennifer Lopez’s 50th birthday celebration, the ‘It’s My Party’ show in Chicago. While she may not be the best singer in the business, Jennifer is one of the best dancers and entertainers. Age-defying energy on the dance floor, and the quick costume changes — sequin-covered leotards, pant suits that showed off a well-toned body and an occasional dress — made her the cynosure of all eyes. She connected easily with the audience, egging them on to relax, even giving parenting advice, as she took them through the two-hour, 20-song list.

The audience was never allowed to forget that we were celebrating her birthday — with oversized balloons, tons of confetti, a massive three-tiered birthday cake on which she and her group danced, et al. Running through the production was a biographical undercurrent as the show commenced with a short retrospective on J-Lo’s career with telling visuals of her as a young woman in Bronx waiting for a train in the subway.

‘Its My party’ warmed up with the DJ pumping up the adrenaline and the winners of the World of Dance competition of previous years performing their sets, mainly hip hop. The diva crooned her latest single, ‘Medicine,’ as she descended from above on a glittery hoop attached to a chandelier with her dancers carrying large champagne bottles; the entry was nothing short of spectacular.

And once she made an appearance, her powerful personality dwarfed all else. Her dance — hip hop, Latino, et al — was all energy and grace, perfectly timed and executed. True, popular art is easy to appreciate, but the detailing in each segment was remarkable. J-Lo’s entries, once on a golden treasury vault for ‘Dinero’ alluding to the ‘cash flow,’ once travelling on a subway train for ‘Jenny from the Block’ that spoke of her Bronx beginnings, her finale appearance on a three-tiered birthday cake, her sensuous dancing for ‘Girls’… She did not look like 50 at any point.

The most poignant moment was in the pop number ‘Limitless,’ where she shared the stage with her 11-year old lookalike daughter Emme, both dressed in flowing red dresses and echoing the closing high notes of the song. The vocals were on point and gave us a peep into the star’s vulnerability.

There was, however, one big disappointment, Jennifer sang live only in parts, lip syncing otherwise to a backing track. This realisation came to me as a shock — I thought I had signed up for a music show, but I guess the music was only incidental to the entertainment. And it was a well-packaged deal.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 4:35:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/song-dance-and-adrenaline-rush-at-j-los-birthday-concert/article28894314.ece

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