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She's a hit ... whenever, wherever

Shakira wriggles and roars for 400 people ? her smallest concert so far. If wriggling one's body to music was a martial art, she would've been awarded a black belt years ago.

  • Evening Standard
  • Published: 00:00 January 21, 2006
  • Tabloid

Shakira wriggles and roars for 400 people ? her smallest concert so far. If wriggling one's body to music was a martial art, she would've been awarded a black belt years ago.


Bearing in mind that she has sold 25 million albums, the recent invitation-only showcase by Colombian Shakira was probably the smallest concert she has played for years.

But if she thought playing to a mere 400 people was beneath her, it didn't show, as she pranced, wriggled and roared her way through a spirited set.
 
Looking and acting younger than her 28 years, she glowed with vitality and confidence as she opened with Costume, which set out an unashamedly Colombian stall.

At times, during this track and also on the brilliant Underneath Your Clothes, there were points where her voice sounded rather strangulated on the high notes, and one suspects that a pre-recorded vocal track was backing her up during some of the more challenging phrases. Nonetheless, her overall showmanship was superb.

Rhythmic puppetry

If wriggling one's body to music was a martial art, Shakira would have been awarded a black belt years ago, as her antics proved.

Having presumably moved on from the booty-shaking phase that first brought her international stardom with Whenever, Wherever, she performed extraordinary feats of rhythmic puppetry with her perfectly rounded stomach.

She also sang La Tortura (Torture), the most Latin track of the night, which embodied the frenzied, overtly sexual reggaeton sound that is sweeping South America.

But, as she closed with Don't Bother, a feisty slice of rocky pop, and Oral Fixation Pt 2, it occurred to me that every aspect of Shakira's performance ? from baby-doll facial expressions to flicks of her huge mane of golden hair ? was carefully stage-managed.

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