Live Last Night: Latino Inaugural Gala

Too bad Daddy Yankee was such a vocal John McCain supporter. Perhaps if the reggaeton artist had backed the other guy, he would've performed alongside his fellow superstars of Latin music at the Latino Inaugural Gala at Union Station on Sunday night.

The entertainment at the event incorporated multiple styles--mariachi music, salsa, pop, rock--and was of varying quality. Hearing American Idol Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta sing the national anthem, for instance, wasn't quite as thrilling as watching Yerba Buena singer CuCu Diamante gyrating while wearing an American flag-patterned ball gown.

The '70s funk group War was the first act of the night, and the outfit ran through hits such as "The Cisco Kid" and "Why Can't We Be Friends?" During "Low Rider," the band was joined by comedian George Lopez, who played cowbell.

Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano backed singers Michael Salgado, Elida Reyna, and Lila Downs. The band was one of the few acts that battled the venue's acoustics and won -- although all fought valiantly. The horns and strings sounded crisp despite the barrel-vaulted, 96-foot ceilings, which amplified every laugh, cheer, and shattering glass.

After the explosive Cucu Diamante/Yerba Buena set, golden girl Paulina Rubio emerged to sing a few songs, including "Ni Una Sola Palabra" and "Yo No Soy Esa Mujer." She was followed by balladeer Alejandro Sanz, who performed "Corazon Partio," and "Quisiera Ser."

By the time the night's marquee act, Marc Anthony, was introduced by his wife, Jennifer Lopez, the program was already about an hour and a half behind schedule. However, the salsero made the most his short time on stage. As he sung "Valio La Pena" and Hector Lavoe's "Mi Gente," Union Station's Main Hall turned into a massive dance floor.


By David Malitz |  January 19, 2009; 12:19 PM ET Inauguration , Live Last Night
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