Pitbull - SunFest, West Palm Beach - May 6

Pitbull - SunFest, West Palm Beach - May 6
Sayre Berman

Pitbull
SunFest, West Palm Beach
May 6, 2012

Better than: Not hearing Pitbull say dale.

Mr. 305 brought his notorious Miami flavor and fast-paced rhymes Sunday to the Bank of America stage at SunFest in West Palm Beach. Pitbull, who has been a staple in the South Florida hip-hop scene since 2004, took the stage promptly at 3 p.m. decked out in a tailored black suit, dress shoes, and sunglasses that we can only guess were exceptionally uncomfortable in the nearly 90-degree heat. But this is one of Pitbull's most endearing qualities. He shows up looking dapper for the crowd.

The temperature didn't appear to bother the thousands of eventgoers who flooded the lawn awaiting Pitbull's performance on Sunday, at least not at first. It was a sea of sweaty, sunburned, and scantily dressed fans, some holding signs that read "DALE!," the Spanish term of encouragement and flattery that is ever-present in many, if not all, of Pitbull's songs.

He opened the show with his hit featuring the God of Auto-Tune T-Pain's track "Hey Baby."  Then the cameraman panned to a young lady at the front of the audience whose sign read "Pitbull I want to lick your face." Uh, what? Gross!!! 


The crowd was immediately brought out of its sun coma when the

superstar began spitting his rhymes. The crowd seemed to know that the only

way to get through the day was to play along, even if it meant rubbing

sweaty arms with the hairy man beside them. Everyone jumped around

wildly in unison as the Cuban-American rapper samba-ed, ramba-ed, and

shimmied across the stage.  

During the interludes between songs

like "I Like How It Feels" and "International Love," Pitbull's live

band (including bongo drums and saxophone) played snippets from other

famous songs like Lenny Kravtiz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way," "Smells

Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, and a tribute to Guns N' Roses with "Sweet

Child o' Mine." Pitbull rocked the eff out on the air drums during the

interludes, but it was noticeably bizarre, to say the least, since most

of his music has nothing to do with any of those genres.   

We

think the audience might have agreed with that sentiment, as audible

sighs and grunts swept the crowd when each song was cut short. It didn't

help that the rapper was a bit unenthused in terms of hyping up the

crowd. The occasional "Let's hear it, West Palm Beach!" was thrown out

there, which helped and all, but the crowd eventually seemed to lose its

fire, leaving only die-hard brown-leather-bag-tanned locals awkwardly

moving their hips and clapping their hands not always to the beat. 

In

fact, when a man dressed as the iconic Captain Morgan, the liquor brand

that sponsored the event, took the stage before Pitbull, the people

went wild. The Captain and his wenches launched free T-shirts into the

crowd from a T-shirt gun, and the people totally ate it up. It's like

they'd never seen a T-shirt before, which many of them were lacking in

the first place, so maybe they hadn't. We're not entirely sure, but it's

safe to say that it's really insane what people do for free stuff, even

if it's crap.

When Mr. Morgan left the stage, the audience was

at its wildest, which on a scale of one to ten was about a 6.5. What really

made the show difficult to get through was the sun at SunFest. Don't get

us wrong; we know that's part of the deal at music festivals, but the

lack of shade and unrelenting sun was just too painful, and a bottle of

low-shelf Dasani water cost just under $5. It took about ten minutes to

navigate through the sticky mass of bodies to find a spot or two open

underneath a tree at the back of the park.  

Pitbull's set

lasted just over an hour, and he played his numerous hits like "Shut It

Down" featuring Akon, "Rain Over Me" featuring Marc Anthony,

"Watagatapitusberry," and club jammer "I Know You Want Me." Many of the

tracks Mr. Worldwide, Mr. 305, Mr. Miami AKA Armando Perez performed

featured other artists who weren't present, which was a little annoying.

As a person who really enjoys the concert experience, it's

disappointing that it felt like we were listening to the radio -- in

direct sunlight, surrounded by a mob of drunken, sweaty masses at 3

o'clock on a Sunday afternoon.

The upside, you ask? Watching

Pitull on the JumboTron screen closest to us, where his gyrations and

pelvic thrusts were showcased for all to see -- every single bit.  

Critic's Notebook:

Random thought:

If you're going to take off your shirt, sir, you should have trimmed

that Afro of back hair. On that same note, nipples are most offensive

when they're not involved in nourishing an infant. Sweaty, hairy man

nipples = eww. 

Random thought two: Arepas are the shit. 

Random thought three: More

alcohol tents than water, none of which you could stand under to beat

the heat, is a problemo. Way to promote drunkenness and not make it easy

to rehydrate. We think the folks at SunFest should reevaluate this for

the future or at least throw a few pop-up tents on the lawns to provide

some refuge from the intense heat.


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