Over seven years have passed since Latin superstar Shakira last played a London stage. In that time she has grown her catalogue of hits through the release of both Spanish (2010’s Sale el Sol) and English (2014’s Shakira) language releases and also found time to raise a family of 2 boys with Spanish football husband, Gerard Piqué. Coincidentally it was the O2 Arena that Shakira last played and a performance we attended back in 2010 so it felt quite nostalgic to be in the crowd at Monday’s colourful and fully charged return to the capital as she brought her band and suitcase full of hits to an audience full of fans from all around the globe.
Fans were already fully charged well before the start of the show and as soon as the lights dimmed in preparation of the stars entrance, the sold out crowd erupted with adoration as the stages 3 giant screens began displaying images of the singer growing up and evolving into the international superstar that we have known for the past twenty + years.
As the photographs faded, Shakira leapt into position wearing figure hugging, torn black tights and a shimmering top embellish with a fierce tiger print and balancing a remarkable volume of hair atop her petite frame as she offered fans an electric medley of Estoy aquí and Dónde estás corazón; giant cannons of confetti being set off into the audience mid-song as her fans proudly waved their home countries flags in the air and belted out the remixed hits with their idol.
Having released her latest studio album, El Dorado early last year, Spanish language numbers were the main course of the evening with memorable performances of mid-set highlight Chantaje, power ballad Nada and the catchy Perro fiel which was accompanied by fellow musician Nicky Jam on the large screens while the luminescence of a glowing cello set a neon theme to the latter track as Shakira whipped the crowd into a frenzy with some flawless dance moves as green lasers helped light up the iconic London venue.
No expense was spared for the musicians return to the UK. The stage design had impressive multi-functionality; allowing Shakira to perform in several different areas of the venue including the rear of the audience where a makeshift platform was erected for her performance of Toneladas. Wearing a glowing gold dress for the number, the singer shed a layer to reveal a stunning pink outfit for Hips Don’t Lie during the sets encore. The performance also allowed the singer to get up close to her fans as she made her way from the back of the O2 to her main stage; offering punters to snapup pics with and of the singer as she was steadily ushered along by an army of bodyguards.
While the focus of this current tour lay heavily on the singers latest Spanish release, her English juggernauts were given the crowds seal of approval as they provided familiarity to fans who perhaps have just followed the superstars mainstream success.
A sweeping rendition of Underneath Your Clothes was delivered early in the set and had the crowd singing along to every word of the hit. She Wolf saw the songstress bound to a large concrete block by chains in the centre of the stage before taking to the middle of the venue with howls that were echoed by her fans, while an electrifying performance of Wherever, Whenever was easily the highlight of the show as a combination of sparks and gold glitter gold cannons were set off above the singer who showed off some pretty phenomenal belly dancing skills for the international breakthrough hit that made the singer a household name back in 2001. There was also room for a standout performance of La La La, the 2014 World Cup theme song and Waka Waka (This Time for Africa); the latter transforming the O2 Arena into a giant moshpit of international fans who stomped and cheered while the space was lit up by a colourful backdrop of African dancers and Shakira dancing barefoot with passion and energy in a multi-coloured ostrich-style skirt alongside her seasoned band members.
Over the course of two solid hours of hits, Shakira unleashed a performance filled with passion, skill and most importantly, fun. With numerous hits washing over a venue filled from top to bottom with fans who had traveled around the world to see the singers return to the UK, this She Wolf proved she still has one hell of a bite!
Dónde estás corazón
Si te vas
Underneath Your Clothes
Can’t Remember to Forget You
Loca / Rabiosa
La La La (Brazil 2014) / Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
Hips Don’t Lie
La bicicleta (Carlos Vives cover)