Bachata star Romeo Santos shows Amway Center why he is ‘The King’


Romeo Santos performs at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, May 30, 2014. (Ty Wright / Valencia Voice)

There are certain places as a married man or long-time boyfriend you can not allow your girlfriend to go to alone on a Friday night.

And after his “ladies leave your man for Rom” comments at the Amway Center, Romeo Santos showed Orlando why his concerts should be included on that list.

Whether he was singing; speaking English, Spanish or a combination of both; thrusting the ground; telling his guitarist to do explicit things to the instrument; or just standing still, it felt as if all the predominately Latina crowd wanted to do was scream.

Santos, 32, has been a key figure in globalizing the bachata genre, experimenting the traditional Dominican sound with contemporary R&B, and collaborating with some of the biggest crossover artist of today. He released his first solo album, “Formula Vol. 1,” in 2011, then followed it this year with “Vol. 2″; both topped Billboard’s Latin chart. Songs off both albums served as the catalyst for his roughly two-and-a-half hour set.

An opening entrance designed for royalty: following an intro from the 12-piece band, an animated castle appeared on the video screen behind them, with the walls resembling religious stained glass windows adorned with self portraits of Santos. As the smoke cleared and castle gate lifted, Santos would present himself to the crowd sporting a floor-length blue cape embezzled with his initials, and a bejeweled walking cane, which would go on to be removed.

As he made his way to his crown-base led microphone stand, down a wide set of red stairs, you could hear the applause gradually rise as “The King” drew closer to center stage to perform opening song “Inocente.”

The self-proclaimed king of bachata begin his career as the frontman for New York music group Aventura, which he founded and released nine albums under. During one segment of the show he would pay homage to the group with a rendition of their song “Un Beso,” in which he brought a touchy female guest onstage to allure her; making her dreams and every other woman in attendance jealous by ending the song with a kiss.

“Do you got a man,” asked Santos in one of the many Spanglish interludes on the night. “Well if not, then you’re single for the night.”

Santos would lend the few men in attendance advice on how treat a woman, dance with her, and make her feel special so that she walks around the house all day thinking “my baby loves me.” However, for the men who was not their, they could have become victim to the topics the singer discussed in “Amigo” and “Los Infieles,” as many of the faster songs left woman looking to whine up on the nearest person to them.

When he was not encouraging people to dance on songs like “Odio” and tango- inflected “Propuesta Indecente,” Santos was captivating their hearts with timely love songs like “Promise.”

When you deem yourself the king of anything, ridiculously high expectations are going to be placed on you. With success as a lead singer of a group under his belt, a rapidly growing solo career, and ability to take control of a near-capacity crowd, Santos is in perfect candidate to hold the title.

Everything is looking uphill for the bachata king. As he continues to grow and sip from the chalice of the greats, everyone else can gratefully enjoying watching the throne.