“Let’s try this again.”
That was how Jennifer Lopez greeted the crowd at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Monday night. The performance, one of several stops on her It’s My Party tour, served as a makeup show after a city-wide power outage on Saturday forced the star and over 19,000 concertgoers to evacuate the venue just as her set was kicking off.
“Devastated and heartbroken that I can’t perform for all of you tonight,” she wrote to fans in her home city on Instagram. “We will make this up to you, I promise! I love you!!.”
Delivering on her word, Lopez picked up where she left off two evenings earlier, reminding the audience the rules of the bash (Sing! Dance! Have a good time!) and launching into what proved to be an energetic spectacle.
It’s My Party, which serves as a lavish summer-long celebration of the Bronx native’s 50th birthday on July 24, features a lively retrospective of Lopez’s two-decade career in music and thematic dance numbers that are both sensual and playfully campy.
A montage depicting her rise from a Fly Girl on In Living Color to global superstar sets the tone for what is also a survey of her work thus far. “I was just a dancer from New York and I was trying to make it,” she says in the footage. The nostalgic edge is welcome, given that June marked the 20th anniversary of her debut album On the 6.
There’s no shortage of nods to early J-Lo. She revisits the Y2K rave scene depicted in her pre-millennium ‘Waiting For Tonight” music video and emerges from a replica of the 6 train (the subway line that runs from the Bronx to Manhattan) for “Jenny from the Block” sporting a glittering New York cap. That leads into the show’s hip-hop-heavy section with “I’m Real” and “Ain’t It Funny,” that incorporates samples of French Montana’s “Shot Caller” and “Thotiana” from Blueface.
In a jaw-dropping burlesque section, Lopez and her dancers offer one lucky audience member a (particularly acrobatic) lap dance followed by an erotic solo number in which J-Lo works a black chaise lounge in a bedazzled, flesh-colored bodysuit.
The night also featured its share of covers — with renditions of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” with portions of Sia’s “Titanium” weaved into her track “Limitless” (for which she was joined onstage by daughter Emme) and Drake’s “Teenage Fever” capping off a lounge-style “If You Have My Love.” In a particularly heartfelt moment, Lopez paid tribute to Selena with a version of the late Tejano singer’s “Si Una Vez.”
After an uplifting (literally, as she was carried through the air) and firework-filled dive into her Latin hits “Te gusté” and “El anillo,” Lopez presented her club anthems “Dance Again” and “On The Floor,” with her and the dancers adorned in neon glow.
“I’m so glad you all came back tonight,” she told the audience during the show’s emotional conclusion before proclaiming she was going to finish the show “no matter what.” And finish she did, closing out the night atop a massive three-tiered cake for the showgirl-infused “Let’s Get Loud” as the crowd basked in a performance so electric it could have powered the whole city.
“Love Don’t Cost a Thing”
“Ain’t It Funny”
“Jenny From the Block”
“If You Had My Love”
“Gravity” (Sara Bareilles cover)
“Limitless”/”Titanium” (David Guetta and Sia cover)
“Si Una Vez” (Selena cover)
“Ain’t Your Mama”
“Te Boté (Remix)”
“Waiting for Tonight”
“On the Floor”
“Let’s Get Loud”