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Concert Reviews:
Jennifer Lopez parties hard at Little Caesars Arena

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Saturday, July 6, 2019

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DETROIT -- Jennifer Lopez has been to Detroit to make a movie (1998's "Out of Sight") and as an "American Idol" judge in 2015. But Friday night's, July 5, visit with her aptly titled It's My Party Tour was the multi-hyphenate's first appearance in the Motor City as a singer.

And it certainly left the Little Caesar's Arena crowd wishing it hadn't taken Lopez so long.

Though padded and overstuffed at points of its two hours and 20 minutes, the show was exactly what its name conveyed -- a high-octane mega-diva spectacular fueled by multiple costume changes (most baring Lopez's famous posterior), special effects (pyrotechnics, lasers, airborne stunts, confetti, streamers, balloons etc.), Teflon-slick sound design and dazzling choreography executed by 23 dancers from Lopez's "World of Dance" TV show, including Swing Latino, The Lab and hula-hopping Briar Nolet. No extravagance was spared, from Lopez's above-stage arrival singing her latest single, "Medicine," from a glittery chandelier to the feathery, Cubano-styled encore romp through "Let's Get Loud."

And it was all the more impressive given Lopez's impending 50th birthday, on July 24 -- a fact the Little Caesars crowd was reminded of ad nauseum during the show, with Lopez at one point even saying "today," i.e. Friday, was the big day.

Not surprisingly the concert worked best during the circus-like production numbers that made her "In Living Color" Fly Girl days look like a youth recital. Lopez twirled through a phalanx of shirtless male dancers "Love Don't Cost a Thing" and rode back onto the stage atop a giant bank vault for "Dinero." "Jenny From the Block" and "Ainít' Your Mama" were turned into extended epics while Lopez reached back to her breakthrough role as "Selana" with a spirited version of "Si Una vez" and also delivered a stirring Latin pop medley of Nio Garcia's "Te bote," "Te guste" and "El Anillo." "Waiting For Tonight," "Dance Again" and "On the Floor," meanwhile, brought the main set to a pumping close.

The show's best musical moment, however, was the pairing of "Limitless," the Sia co-written power ballad from Lopez's latest film, "Second Act," which incorporated a bit of David Guetta's "Titanium" and finished with a quick guest appearance by Lopez's 11-year-old daughter Emme.

The night dragged, meanwhile, when Lopez was off stage during costume changes -- particularly after "If You Had My Love," when she brought a male fan up from the audience for a handcuffed "present" from a pair of the dancers, a well-worn diva schtick that went on far too long. Lopez's canned patter were speed bumps, too; Given her history in the city, it seemed a shame that some more personal memories -- even an acknowledgement that it was her first time performing in these parts -- couldn't have been inserted into the show.

And the sheer length had a good number of fans streaming out before Lopez and company returned for the encore.

But as some grand finale fireworks shook the arena, Lopez's Party could still be scored a success -- and gave fans plenty of reason to hope Detroit remains on the invitation list for the next bash.

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