JAZZ & POP REVIEWS : Emmanuel Sidesteps Stereotypes of Pop Singer at Amphitheatre

Popular Mexican singer Emmanuel has been trying since the late '70s to avoid the stereotype of the pop performer, and he demonstrated Sunday at the sold-out Universal Amphitheatre that his music is finally achieving that goal.

Employing soul, funk and tropical accents, Emmanuel, backed by a solid, 10-member ensemble, reinvented on stage some of his most popular songs, and even though he sounded too conventional in soft, romantic ballads such as "Solo" ("Alone"), he generated intense moments with festive songs.

Emmanuel's influences come from such European pop artists as Italy's Lucio Dalla and Spain's Joaquin Sabina, which might partially explain his dramatic, theatrical movements.

During the two-hour performance, Emmanuel focused on his most popular hits, but the fans had equally intense response when the percussion section improvised a frenzied solo introduction for the classic hit "Toda la Vida"("All Life Long").

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