By Laura Glick
"Nobody will judge you."
With those comforting words, Ricky Martin cast away the insecurity running rampant in the crowd. The 40-year-olds squeezed into leather pants two sizes too small could undo the top button and let their tummies ooze out. The 20-somethings could pull their chest back in and give the push-up underwire a break. We were a family. United as one, fans and guardians dragged along could leave the worries of real life behind and step into the "perfect little world" created in the Saddledome. We were residents of Ricky-land.
Filled with bright lights and shiny objects, Ricky-land was a non-stop gyrating party. Estrogen levels skyrocketed and tears streamed down badly foundationed cheeks, as our guest of honour exploded with the national anthem–"Livin’ la vida loca."
Bon-bons shook like leaves in the wind as Ricky jerked around the stage. Emerging on a silver convertible and sweating profusely Ricky set the mood for the evening. He demanded all generations to let go and forget about negative things in life. Sliding on conveyer belts on either side of the stage, Ricky preached his wisdom to various sections of the sold-out crowd.
Eager ears lapped up his unusually long waxings on relationships and God, and eyes were treated/tortured with bouts of rump-shaking, pelvis thrusting and chest bearing.
As he meandered through Spanish and English songs, Ricky teased the racing hearts of fans, coming almost close enough to touch. With new outfits every couple of songs, he swivelled his way through nearly two hours of energetic numbers.
Backed by two back-up singers and a wide array of percussionists and keyboardists, Ricky and his occassionally half-naked co-ed dancers bounded around the stage with mile-wide smiles and sculpted hips.
Overall, Ricky led his subjects on a whirlwind tour of Ricky-land pointing out his top-40 sites and dropping a chunk of change into Calgary businesses. The tanning salons, make-up vendors, chic clothing stores, leather jacket outlets and "Come Fuck Me" boot sales went through the roof for this show.