Thalía masters stage at Arena Theater

Thalía had the crowd chanting even before she hit the stage Saturday night at the Arena Theatre. The Mexican superstar, who hasn’t toured in a decade, filled the modest venue with fans from Houston and beyond.

They brought her flowers, asked for hugs and delivered candy directly from Monterrey, Mexico. “You have more mascara on than me”, she joked with one male fan who persuaded her to take a photo.

She appeared at almost 9 pm in a flash of sequins and leather, working the entirety of the rotating, in-the-round stage. The set list drew heavily from 2009’s “Primera fila” and last year’s “Habítame siempre” – albums that stripped the processed pop sound of previous efforts.

The vocal mix seemed low, and she was sometimes overpowered by the band or the crowd. The sound on her microphone dropped out noticeably throughout the show. But Thalía made up for it with energy and enthusiasm. She’s coquettish and flirty onstage, with the audience and the crew.

She ran through a medley of theme songs from her wildly popular soap operas, including “Quinceañera”, “Rosalinda”, “Marimar” and “María la del Barrio”.

Tejano singer Bobby Pulido popped in for a duet on “Estoy enamorado”, and Thalía paid tribute to Selena with a bouncy “Amor prohibido”.

She seemed most at home during the frenetic club energy of “Seducción”, “A quien le importa” and thundering closer “Arrasando”. It was pop dazzle with just enough sabor.