London was the final stop on the 22 date European tour. In fact she had been only touring the United Kingdom for 5 of those dates. The album supporting the tour was Sale El Sol or in English The Sun Comes Out. That was the name of the tour The Sun Comes Out World Tour. It is a bit ironic that the sun didn’t come out and it was really rare to have absolute terribe weather in the UK. Yes it had been snowing but it cleared up for the Manchester date on 14th December. When it came to Saturday 18th December the weather conditions were extremely poor but the Glasgow and London date both went ahead. So the 20th December came and I got a lift to the tube station then made the trek to the Arena. I was there at 11am and I was surprised with the fact only 12 people were in the queue. The first 7 people in the queue were foreign so they had managed to get to the venue in time for when the o2 opened. Basically when I was sitting/ standing in the queue it was freezing. Fast forward to 7pm the doors finally open. There was some drama during the queuing and infact they were going to let in the second queue of people through the turnstiles. Well this clearly didn’t happen and once I was in I powerwalked to the front. The trouble about walking fast is the fact you still get security saying slow down. In the end I get to the barrier right hand side near the catwalk. Supporting Shakira was 5 piece girl band Parade. They are a fantastic new band whom I most definately will be keeping my close eye on. The set was only 4 songs long but include Cee Lo Green song Forget You, forthcoming single Louder and Rollercoaster. Each song was fantastic and I can’t wait to hear more material from these girls. They are a fantastic new upcoming band who are also supporting Alexandra Burke on her tour.
Parade ended at 8.20pm and what followed afterwards was an interval. At first I had expected the interval to be 20 minutes but Shakira took to the stage a full 60 minutes after when Parade finished. Well the set started off with Pienso en Ti and this was spectacular. Shakira walked through the audience in a bubblegum pink dress hugging fans. This was very remiscent when I saw Taylor Swift at Wembley Arena last year. She reached the long catwalk and once she was on the stage she ripped off the dress to reveal she was wearing a chain top and black leggings. “How you doing London” Shakira said before launching into She Wolf track Why Wait. Now she had the longest catwalk I have ever seen at the end of it was a small octagon stage. Te Dejo Madrid followed on and this was only one of the two Spanish Shakira songs I knew. After Shakira revealed this was the 50th show and “Thankyou from the bottom of my heart for making this happen”. “My only wish tonight is that you have the best time OK. I am here to please you and remember tonight I am all yours” she said before launching into Whenever Wherever which had a rocky opening. The song had snippets of Unbelievable and when she got onto the catwalk Shakira got 4 lucky girls onstage for a hip shaking lesson. She then came back and finished off the song then went into Inevitable from her second solo album Dónde Están Los Ladrones?. That song was beautiful and saw Shakira just standing playing the guitar while playing this song. Shakira then went off for a costume change and when she was back she went and performed Metallica cover Nothing Else Matters on the octagon stage at the tip of the catwalk. This version was extraordinary and she even slipped a bit of Spanish into this song. Shakira’s vocal range was incredible she made the song her own. It was then onto a bit of Gypsy. At the start Shakira played the harmonica and they were still on the octagon stage. I simply love this song and Shakira did look like a Gypsy girl and was bare footed. Shakira then strolled back to the stage singing La Tortura. After it was then onto Ciega, Sordomuda yet another song taken from Dónde Están Los Ladrones?. This song was fantastic but it was hard for me to enjoy because this was taken from the 2nd album which was pre Laundry Service. Before launching into Underneath Your Clothes Shakira introduced the band. This ballad was a real crowd pleaser and this beautiful song was delivered ever so strongly. Sale El Sol songs followed on first being Gordita. The big screen behind stage split in two to reveal this creepy face most likely it was meant to be the sun. Now this song as with everything on the Sale El Sol album will take time to grow on me. As fantastic as Gordita was the album has not been released in the UK and the release date keeps on getting pushed back.
The albums title track Sale El Sol then followed on. Another Spanish song was up next this being Las De La Intuición. The current single Loca was next and it only received a digital release in the UK on 13th December. The English version of this song features Dizzee Rascal and unfortunately he did not make a appearence. There is a fast pace to this song and I enjoyed it as well. She Wolf was the penultimate song on the night you could tell that with the cats eyes on the face. This song went down well with the crowd and at the end she got everyone to howl like a wolf. “Thankyou and goodnight” Shakira saidafter delivering an outstanding performance of Ojos Asi (Eyes Like Yours). The biggest surprise was people started to leave after the song had finished. Never leave a gig before a encore. Even if there isn’t one at least wait till music is played through the sound system. As expected Shakira returned for what was to be a three song encore. First she kicked it off with yet another song from Sale El Sol and this being Antes De Las Seis. Shakira was wearing a blue dress. It looked like a blue wedding dress. Towards the end of this song was a fake snow storm during this beautiful song. Hips Don’t Lie followed on and unfortunately there was no Wyclef. There is a samba feel to this song and it is one you can go crazy to. She truly knows how to shake those hypnotic hips of hers. Joining her were 2 dancers and towards the end she goes up the catwalk and dances when at the octagon stage. She then skips back to the main stage and finishes the song to a rapture of applause. “Gracias London”. Ending the night was Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) and alot of kids took to the stage. Well this uptempo had a infectious chorus which had people doing the dance moves. This World Cup Anthem went down a storm and it ended a fantastic gig. It oozed plenty of energy and towards the end the crowd was showered with ticker tape.
Pienso en Ti
Te Dejo Madrid
Nothing Else Matters
Underneath Your Clothes
Sale el Sol
Las de la Intuición
Antes De Las Seis
Hips Don’t Lie
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
OVERALL: I really enjoyed my first ever Shakira concert. There was plenty of energy and Shakira’s vocal range is incredibe. The set list was fantastic and the material featured was not just from Sale El Sol. There were quite a few exclusions on the set list a couple of songs being Did It Again, Don’t Bother, Good Stuff and Objection. I would of thought that the set list may of been altered a little bit for the UK leg as some of the Spanish songs feature on the the albums that have not even charted in the UK. Also it would of been better if Sale El Sol had been released before Shakira hit the UK. This would of resulted in the UK fans knowing the songs and singing along to the songs as well.