For one night, the sunny beaches and Latino spice of Miami invaded the massive Oklahoma casino we once knew as WinStar. The Cuban rapper Pitbull was responsible for this hip-swaying, salsa-dancing takeover; he sold out the 2,000+ capacity ballroom for a pre-New Year’s Eve party that was worth the hour-long drive.
In a black suit complete with his signature shades, Pitbull wasted no time kicking off his zealous set of mash-ups and radio singles. He came on the scene in 2002 with a freestyle feature on Lil Jon’s Kings of Crunk, giving him numerous albums to pull from and countless mainstream hits that made the packed room go wild. If the room’s energy was compared to a trendy nightclub, this was the Las Vegas club that stays open way past 2 a.m. – the kind where the only reason you don’t have a drink in your hand is because you’re dancing too much, and where every song kicks off an entirely new party.
Tracks like “International Love” and “Hotel Room Service” showcased Pitbull’s gravelly chords and sultry flow, and it didn’t hurt that he could move his hips with as much grace as his fellow Latina Shakira. With two drum kits complete with a bongo drum set, his drummers built up the spicy Latin American flavor that give his songs an added pop. Multicultural fans young and old danced away what might have been their New Year’s Eve celebration, shouting out Pitbull’s lines about living every day like it’s your last, or about a lustful night on the dance floor.
Mash-ups featuring songs from other artists filled the gaps between his countless singles, making us wonder if we really were at a club instead of a Pitbull concert. SongS from Nirvana and Black Eyed Peas made their way into the set for no reason other than to continue the zesty party. His major pop track “Rain Over Me” featuring Marc Anthony was a crowd favorite, giving the Hispanic majority another reason to cheer for their beloved celebrities. Pitbull swayed his hips and pelvic-thrusted his way through the sexy number, as he did for most of the night, making some women in the room squeal with delight.
Pitbull’s seductive Spanish lines dominated the onstage banter for most of the evening, and he ended the frenzied fiesta by finally taking off his shades.