Shakira came to Costa Rica with the intent of rocking the New National Stadium, only to be greeted with controversy and a joke of a production company that left her singing and swaying without sound or video.
Before Shakira even arrived, some Costa Ricans were up in arms about officials choosing her as the first major international star to perform in the New National Stadium, which was a gift from China. A facebook page was formed and people protested her concert, stating that she wasn’t good enough for the closing ceremony of the inauguration and that artists such as U2 or Coldplay should have been chosen instead. Despite this protest, 80% of the tickets sold out within the first day of sale.
Personally, I was very happy with the choice of Shakira. I’m not an obsessed fan, but I do love quite a few of her songs, her voice, her dancing, and the fact that a Latina artist was chosen for the inauguration.
She opened with Pienso en tí, smiling and walking through the crowd and on to the stage in her puffy pink prom dress. Despite the hour late start and horrible sound quality (it would have sounded better coming through the speaker on my iPhone), emotions in the crowd were high with excitement and awe of the superstar. During the third song, the sound and video suddenly stopped, yet she kept singing and dancing without a clue for almost 4 minutes.
The crowd slowly turned their cheers into boos, failing to become organized enough to draw attention to the fact that there was no sound. I could hear a couple of people attempting to chant “no sound,” but it never caught on. Finally, a stage manager came out to ask Shakira to stop singing. The lights went dark and the crowd sat down to patiently wait. The amount of calm and patience during the late start and failed technology is a testament to the laid back Tico personality.
After about 15 minutes of waiting and wondering if Costa Rica can even handle production of such a concert in the new venue, a man from the production company came on stage to announce that the failure was due to a problem with the electricity and by no means the fault of Shakira or her associates. Then a smiling Shakira skipped back on stage and sung her heart out in a 17-song set that lasted 2 hours.
Within those 2 hours, she energetically sang some famous songs as well as an acoustic gypsy-like interpretation of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters. She also graciously gave the stage to other performers, including her violinist who played an incredibly haunting 4-minute solo.
The show ended with an encore that Shakira had to beg applause for — I don’t know if the crowd was tired or if that is just the Tico culture, but apparently cheering more than a few seconds for an encore was too much to ask for last night. Luckily, she sang anyway.
I only hope this incident doesn’t leave Shakira with a bad Tico taste in her mouth or deter other mega pop stars from considering Costa Rica. We’ll see.
Pienso en tí
Te dejo Madrid
Si te vas
Nothing Else Matters
Sale el Sol
Las de la Intuición
Hips Don’t Lie
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
All the sexy photos above were taken by Mauricio Moreno Valdes and generously shared through a CC license.