US singer Jennifer Lopez performs before an Indonesian audience during the JLo Dance Again concert at Mata Elang International Stadium in Ancol, North Jakarta, on Friday evening. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
“I’m just a simple girl from the Bronx with a humble beginning,” Jennifer Lopez said during the pop star’s first ever concert in Jakarta at the Mata Elang International Stadium on Friday night, referring to her hometown in New York.
While the concert, an explosion of color and sound filled with intricate, heart-pounding choreography, might indicate otherwise, she proved in front of thousands of her fans that behind all the glitz and glam, she really is still Jenny from the block.
Throughout the 90-minute show, part of her “Dance Again World Tour”, Lopez oftentimes interacted with the audience and appeared to be sincerely moved when she heard the crowd’s reaction when she spoke to them.
She also took the time to make a lap around the stage to greet her fans and asked an audience member how to say “I love you” in Indonesian.
Lopez kept mouthing the words to memorize them and giggled as she heard the crowd go wild after she said, “Aku cinta padamu”.
While she told the crowd to not be fooled by all the glitter, Lopez was clearly hell-bent on proving herself as a world-class entertainer capable of hypnotizing a nearly sold-out arena.
Lopez started the show by performing a rocked-out version of “Get Right”, which was followed by rapturous cheers from the audience as they grooved to the infectious horn riffs.
Dressed more modestly than usual for her show in front of world’s most populous Muslim country, Lopez wore a baggy silver jumpsuit, which concealed her famous curvaceous figure, as opposed to the tour’s signature nude sparkling cat jumpsuit, which she regularly wore on tour.
Her backup dancers were also forced to alter their outfits, or usual lack-there-of, covering their bare chests and revealing cleavage. Apparently a male bare torso is too much for Indonesia to handle.
Lopez then proceeded to perform “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, “I’m Into You” and “Waiting for Tonight”.
A boxing ring then appeared on the stage, where the male dancers threw a choreographed boxing match, which was a befitting theme since Lopez proved to be a fighter with unlimited stamina throughout the concert.
In true Lopez fashion, the dancers wore gold and black boxing gloves with glitter all over them.
After the “match” ended, Lopez returned to the stage wearing a boxing robe with a silver tank top and matching harem pants and sang her latest single “Goin’ In”.
After the song ended, Lopez asked the audience, “Do you see the fight earlier? When we fall down, we have to get up. It’s also how we do it where I come from.”
Paying homage to her roots, she performed her “back-to-bronx” medley, ditching the robe for a silver cap, which was tilted forward a bit in line with a bit of hip hop flavor.
The medley started with “I’m Real”, followed by “All I Have” and the murder remix version of “Ain’t It Funny”, before she finished it with “Jenny from the Block”.
The concert then entered a section dedicated to love, where Lopez sang a stripped-down version of her very first single that propelled her into music stardom, “If You Had My Love” and “Until It Beats No More”, a ballad from her 2011 album Love?.
Rocking a flowly turquoise dress, Lopez was goddess-like as she sang her heart out while basking in purple light and smoke.
Right after serenading her fans with the ballads, Lopez retreated backstage only to appear in a tuxedo with pink ruffles while playing a bongo, followed by a performance of “Let’s Get Loud”.
During the performance, she ripped off the tuxedo, revealing a black-laced body suit.
She then broke into “Papi” and “On The Floor”, before finishing the concert with an encore performance of “Dance Again”, where she was joined by her boyfriend/backup dancer, Casper Smart, during the dance break.
By the end of the concert, jointly promoted by Dyandra Entertainment and Stellar Indonesia, Lopez was successful in making the usually reserved Indonesian crowd move their hips.
Some members of the crowd, however, seemed a bit stiff during her performance.
Perhaps they were just spellbound by the fact that a 43-year-old mother of two could still hit all the dance moves while singing in-tune at the same time without seemingly breaking a single sweat.
“I still can’t believe she already had two kids,” Novi, 30, a concertgoer, said what seemed to be on everyone’s minds.