The Trilogy Tour Sparkles At A Packed Xcel Energy Center

Photos by Laura Buhman; Words by Langen Goldstien The Trilogy Tour featuring Ricky Martin, Pitbull, and Enrique Iglesias rolled through Saint Paul’s Xcel Energy Center on Friday night. There were plenty of excellent local shows happening that I probably should have been at, but my heart knew I had to see this tour. From not thinking about Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias for years to my weird obsession with Mr. Worldwide (AKA Pitbull), I could not pass up the opportunity to check out this show. I have a lot to say about this show, so let’s not waste any more time and just jump into it. All three of these acts could be headliners, so it wasn’t surprising to find out that this was a rotating headliner type of tour where the order of the three acts constantly changed. Our version of the tour came with Ricky Martin opening up the night, but after experiencing his performance, I couldn’t help but believe that he could have easily headlined this entire tour. As mentioned, it has been literal years since I have even thought of Ricky Martin, but as soon as he kicked into his eleven-song set followed by a one-song encore, I couldn’t help but regret every day that has passed where I haven’t thought of this man. Honestly, he took the stage like he had something to prove, and he proved it within the first few seconds of “Pégate.” Joined by a couple of highly talented dancers and a stellar band, Ricky brought a full production with him while still coming off as an accessible kind of superstar. Whether it was his often almost geeky dance moves that seeped into an otherwise impressive physical performance from the man or the way he would take every empty moment of the set to thank the screaming and adoring fans, there was just something so down-to-earth about Ricky’s performance that I wasn’t quite expecting. I could honestly write for days about Ricky Martin and his set. As mentioned, he easily could have headlined this entire tour and, as much as I hate to admit it due to my obsession with the next act to take the stage, stole the show on Friday night. There was just so much love and appreciation that radiated from the stage to the crowd and then back to the stage. On top of that, at 52 years old, Ricky Martin still knows how to put on a hell of a show (and look ridiculously good while doing so — no shame). That being said, he was the opener here, and we still have two more superstars to write about, so let’s dig into Pitbull’s set next. I’m obsessed with Pitbull. According to all of my friends, he is my guilty pleasure, but I don’t feel all that guilty about it. Okay, that’s a bit of a lie. I realized as the stage was set for Pitbull that I was wearing my Slipknot shirt to this show, which I felt instantly set me apart from the screaming women around me wearing their best sparkly dresses and high heels, but as the house lights went down and Pitbull’s DJ started pumping music through the PA, my Slipknot shirt blended in perfectly with the sparkles all around me. Okay, that’s a lie, but as Pitbull started playing, nothing mattered outside of his music and the fact that everyone in the arena was smiling from ear to ear. From the first note of “Don’t Stop the Party” to the final beat of “Give Me Everything,” Pitbull, his band, and dancers gave one hell of a performance. It was full of danceable tracks and fun but also, like Ricky Martin’s set, full of heart. After just one song, Pitbull stopped to thank the audience for coming out and for the support over the years. That wasn’t the only moment that Pitbull showed more of a vulnerable side during his set. He spent a minute mentioning his old teacher, Hope Martinez, who, well, gave him hope. The entire show seemed to come to a halt as a photo of Hope and Pitbull took over the giant screen behind the stage. Pitbull talked about how she was his motivation and the reason he is where he is today. It was a touching moment in an otherwise over-the-top and sexualized show. I could sit here and dwell on the over-sexualized nature of Pitbull’s set, or how there were a couple of cringe moments for me where the dancing and interactions between Pitbull and his dancers seemed to be a bit too far but, at the end of the day, that’s Pitbull, and you know that’s what you’re going to get from him. It’s sleazy music that makes you dance. I adore him, but if you really want to break it down, that’s what Pitbull is, and that’s precisely what you got from his set on Friday. Again, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the set a lot but felt like I would be remiss not to call out the elephant in the room. Yes– his set was full of sexy moments, but so was Ricky Martin’s– it just came in a more questionable form. I was still trying to recover from the last moment of Pitbull’s set (that was full of confetti, tear-away skirts on the dancers, shaking booties, and pyro) as the houselights went down again, signifying the start of the final set of the night, from Enrique Iglesias. I understand this is a triple-headliner tour, but I didn’t see how Enrique could stand up to the two previous sets. Again, like Ricky Martin, Enrique’s name is one that I haven’t thought about in years, but even when I did listen to his music, I felt like he never had the same amount of power as other acts. How in the heck would he captivate an entire arena after what Pitbull had just done? Well, he was going to do it with his heart, and, honestly, I felt silly for not thinking about that before. Enrique Iglesias was the only performer who seemed to interact with the crowd instead of just thanking them for coming out. He spent most of his set trying to reach into the crowd or walking between the main stage and a secondary stage, forcing him to walk through the middle of the packed floor. I was surprised to see such a mega-star get so close to the fans, but I loved this aspect of Enrique’s set. I couldn’t tell if this is just how he performs or if it’s the way he makes up for the fact that his music leans more on the side of mature and romantic than dancey and sexy like the other two performers on the tour or if this is just how he performs. Regardless, I loved it. One of my favorite parts of Enrique’s set was when he was singing “Escape” from the barricade, separating security from the crowd and allowing a very enthusiastic fan to take over the microphone and finish off the song. This is something you see a lot at smaller shows, but I’ll be honest: this is the first time I’ve seen it happen at an arena show like this. Although Enrique Iglesias seemed to struggle with bringing a bombastic sense of life to the arena, he held his own on this mega-star-studded tour. He let his music, amazing voice, and personality do the work rather than relying on dancers and extreme dance moves. It was a change from the first two sets and definitely would have worked better as the opening act for this tour, but, long story short, it was a great set, and it sparked a long-lost love for this man inside of me. My boyfriend spent Friday night at The 7th Street Entry, seeing Unstable Shapes and a couple of other incredible local acts. Honestly, I should have been there with him, but my curiosity got the best of me. I had to see what Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias have been up to over the years and definitely couldn’t turn down the opportunity to see Pitbull perform again. It may not have been the right choice as someone who is trying to focus more on local music this year, but I ended up having the time of my life living in a world of over-the-top pop music. Guilty pleasure or not, this show may end up on my top 2024 lists, and I won’t apologize for it.