Enrique Iglesias unveils bold arena tour
Co-headliners of different genres are no longer an oddity in the U.S. Latin market.
Nonetheless, the Kings tour, which kicks off September 4, stands out for its daring pairing of Spanish pop star Enrique Iglesias and urban/bachata group Aventura. Its results will be closely watched by a Latin touring industry where probably fewer than 20 acts can consistently embark on large arena tours.
Iglesias is, well, Iglesias. As for Aventura, the New York-based group plays a romantic, urban version of traditional Dominican bachata, a music most non-Latins haven't a clue about. But today Aventura is one of the top Latin acts in the market, and its album "Kings of Bachata" was the second top-selling Latin album of 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the AP reported.
While tropical and pop sounds don't often intermingle on Latin radio or onstage, the two acts have a common youth appeal that promoters and management hope will translate into a shared audience.
The 15-stop Kings tour, which ends October 5 in Rutherford, N.J., is being produced by Live Nation. The company also produces Marc Anthony's Juntos en Concierto tours, which feature a variety of acts from different Latin genres.
While Iglesias just finished a 30-date arena tour through Europe and Latin America, he hasn't done a U.S. arena tour in at least two years. His last U.S. show was a sellout at Los Angeles' 6,700-seat Nokia Theatre in December.
"I wanted to do something completely different, that went beyond the typical tour," Iglesias says. "And I love Aventura musically."
Aventura has played some 25 dates in the States during the past six months, but not as part of an organized tour. Of four shows reported to Billboard Boxscore, the group tallied combined attendance of 23,000 and two sellouts.
By teaming with Iglesias, the group gains a "marquee value" it now lacks, Aventura manager Johnny Marines says.
"As popular as we are, we've been on an indie label pretty much all our life, and we've worked on a smaller scale," Marines says. "We're hoping this opens the industry's eyes and they say, 'These guys are bigger than the credit we give them."'
What Aventura brings Iglesias, in turn, is its current hot status. The group's single "Mi Corazoncito" won Hot Latin Song of the year at the 2008 Billboard Latin Music Awards, in response to airplay in multiple formats across the country.
A Caribbean artist with Aventura's broad youth appeal hasn't emerged since Elvis Crespo had a succession of hits a decade ago, promoter Lazaro Negret says.
"If you put groups together that aren't that hot, nothing will happen, no matter how good they are," Negret says. "In this case, they both have a track record."