Mexican superstar Thalía shines bright in Houston

Thalía knows how to bring the sparkle on her costumes, in a song and just with a smile

The Mexican pop superstar lit up the stage at every opportunity during Monday’s show at Revention Music Center. She flirted, shook, shimmied and strutted through a succession of outfits, from a wedding gown to a mod minidress. It was exhausting just to watch her work the crowd, who continually chanted her name, held up signs and shouted along with every song.

The Houston show is one of just six U.S. dates on her Latina Love Tour. Earlier in the day, she used Instagram Stories to take fans on a tour of her hotel room, which boasted a view of Toyota Center and backstage at Revention Music Center, where she showered before the show. After the concert, she posted several videos interacting with giddy local fans.

She appeared onstage under a flood of smoke and lights, singing ‘Amor a la mexicana’ in a glittering black bodysuit covered by a long, red cape. ‘Let’s make mischief’, she cooed to the crowd in Spanish. ‘We all have our own crowns. Where are my queens?’

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It was a sly nod to her gay fanbase, who showed up with with signs and T-shirts blinking the pop diva’s name in LED lights. One handed her a fan. Someone else gave her roses. A few tried to pull her into the crowd when she began shaking hands. She brandished a silver sequined guitar during the rock strains of “Más” and later changed into a white dress, complete with veil and sparkling jewels.

Over-the-too razzle dazzle is a big part of Thalía’s brand. She’s quite adept at playing the pop diva. And she’s sometimes criticized (unfairly) as more style over substance. But there was real vocal power and nuance during ‘Gracias a Dios’, penned by the late Juan Gabriel and ‘¿Qué será de ti?’ by Brazilian singer Roberto Carlos. Thalía knows precisely when to push her voice and when to let the crowd take over.

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When she belted ‘Equivocada’, supported by a chorus of adoring fans, it was impossible not to be completely swept up in the moment. It continued during the lovely ‘Habítame siempre’, which inspired several fans to wave small white flags in the air.

She kept it moving through a series of songs that employed salsa, cumbia and reggaeton. ‘La movidita’ was a frisky highlight that combined multiple genres. Ballad ‘Entre el mar y una estrella’ was recast with reggaeton. And she was visibly energized by the salsa sway of ‘Frutas’. It was a kick to hear the title songs her wildly popular novelas ‘Rosalinda’, ‘Marimar’ and ‘María la del Barrio’.

The throwback trio sent the crowd into an even bigger frenzy that lasted through recent hit ‘Desde esa noche’ and closing anthems ‘A quién le importa’ and ‘Arrasando’. Thalía raced back and forth across the stage, waving flags and high-fiving fans as buckets of gold confetti rained down on the crowd. It was equal parts pop concert, aerobics class, cheerleading display and ridiculously fun.