October 8, 2021 | LIFE | By Carlee Castillo | Photo by Sierra Romero
On the first night of October, the global sensation, Pitbull, took the Denver Ball Arena globetrotting. Not only did Pitbull’s “I Feel Good” tour fulfill its titular promise, it also delivered a global experience for everyone.
The pop star initiated his career as a young Miami street rapper. The son of Cuban immigrants, Pitbull grew up in poverty, spending time in foster care. However, the musician’s turbulent childhood did not sway his love for Miami. Pitbull’s adoration for the city is apparent as he hails his hometown in nearly every one of his songs. In the midst of selling more than 70 million singles, accumulating millions of devoted fans, and establishing multiple brands, Armando “Pitbull” Arrez has managed to remain loyal to his origins and roots.
At the Denver concert, the international flight of music lifted off with Australian singer and rapper Iggy Azalea. Accompanied by a dazzling light show, impressive background dancers, and sparse costumes, Azalea delivered an enthusiastic and energetic performance.
During lapses of entertainment, young fans resembling Pitbull in the form of bald caps and black suits formed conga lines and danced eagerly. Upon his arrival, it was apparent that the singer noticed his audience, as the screams of teenage girls in Pitbull-inspired outfits reverberated throughout the arena.
Throughout the concert, Pitbull instilled a sense of community. Pitbull’s friend and fellow rapper, Sean “Puffy” Combs, often refers to the Cuban-American singer as “a living, breathing example of that beautiful mix…He’s also an ambassador, connecting the hip-hop and the Latin communities and encouraging that important crossover appeal.” Not only does Pitbull fuse countries and languages, but also different generations.
Witnessing Pitbull’s appreciation of his multifaceted audience firsthand was extremely poignant. My good friend, Sydney Glasser of University of Colorado Colorado Springs, described her experience at the concert as unforgettable.
“Being with my closest friends and dancing to some really great music was an awesome time. Considering the past year and all the challenges we’ve gone through, it was really great to just let loose and have a good time,” Glasser said.
In between hit songs such as, “I Like It” and “Hotel Room Service,” the rapper paused to teach Spanish phrases to his non-Spanish speaking audience. Additionally, he chanted well known Spanish songs alongside the Spanish speaking members of the audience, conveying his adoration for his most prominent demographic of listeners.
Pitbull ardently proclaimed his appreciation for not only such a diverse audience, but also for a country that celebrates differences.
In a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, Pitbull emphasized this point. “I was born in the United States — first-generation Cuban American,” he said. “My family would always tell me the opportunity I had, to be part of a country that gives you freedom, gives you the opportunity to control your own destiny, and, more than anything, allows you to be whatever you want to be.” Patriotism was a strong theme throughout the performance.
All in all, the “I Feel Good” tour promised enjoyment across a multitude of demographics. Strobe lights, extravagant choreography, and exciting vocals merely augmented Pitbull’s message regarding the importance of community and unity.
Following the performance, fans ranging in age, ethnicity, and race could be unified in exclaiming, “I don’t know about you, but ‘I Feel Good!’”