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Review: Enrique and Pitbull leave fans wanting more in Miami

No party ends before midnight in Miami. 

Yet, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull’s concert finished too early, clocking in at only 2 and a half hours at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Latin duo is a 2-for-1 deal during a joint tour, landing first in Hollywood at Hard Rock Live Saturday for a sold-out show. Sunday night was at the arena, continuing onto Orlando on Tuesday at the Amway Center. The tour has been so successful, it just added a second leg, starting Jan. 18 in El Paso, Texas.

Pitbull kicked off the bash with "Don’t Stop the Party," flanked by long-maned dancers who never left his side. The proud, Cuban-American rapper— whose real name is Armando Perez — is known as Mr. Worldwide, but he keeps his hometown close at heart.  Scenes from the Magic City and its twinkling skyline flashed behind Pitbull, who donned his signature shades.

“When I say 305 till I die, I mean it from the bottom of my heart,” he said, referring to Miami by its area code.

Pitbull quickly doled out a flurry of hits, mostly duos with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, Shakira, Ke$ha, Usher and others. None were present, but while Pitbull sang his part, a video backdrop showcased each pop star and their vocals.

Pitbull proved he could hold his own and make you dance until your feet ache with recent booty-shaking hits "Echa Pa’lla," "Culo" and "Hotel Room Service." After ending his part of the show, an unwelcome 20-minute break that preceded Iglesias calmed a crowd that was abuzz. 

The Spanish crooner quickly turned it around with "I'm a Freak," "Heart Attack" and "Finally Found You"— all tracks on Iglesias' latest album, Sex and Love.  With flamenco guitars hinting at a change, Iglesias traveled back to 1999 for "Bailamos," an early "crossover" success at a time when Latino artists recorded in English and ventured into the mainstream. 

Even though the 20th anniversary of Iglesias' debut album approaches, he didn't indulge with early ballads that won the hearts of swooning teen girls in the 90s. Iglesias did, however, elate fans as he reached into the crowds to touch eager hands. While doing so, he fearlessly clung onto a railing along the stage.

It's in Iglesias' nature to be touchy-feely. He's known for affectionately embracing his musicians, fans and artists he shares the stage with. But there were no lucky girls Sunday night.

When Iglesias made his way onto a small, elevated stage in the back of the arena, he invited a fan to join: "Who wants to come up here and have a drink with us?"

He chose a 32-year-old man from Venezuela. They took shots and toasted to life. Iglesias then shared an intimate memory: "Stand by Me," which he then sang, was the tune that comforted him on nights he missed his mother.  He was 7-years-old when he immigrated to Miami after his parents split up, he said. 

After a few more swigs from the bottle, the childhood memory quickly morphed into something naughty. "Tonight I'm F------ You" amped everyone in the arena.

The running theme with Pitbull and Iglesias — there is power in partnerships— continued until the concert’s explosive end. Iglesias was joined by Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona for their infectious feel-good, astronomical hit, "Bailando" (Dancing).

Pitbull returned to join Iglesias on stage, but they forgot to stay true to Pitbull's opening song:  "Don't Stop the Party," ending at 11:20 p.m., leaving fans starving for more. There wasn't even an encore.

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