Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in the northern Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Georgia, swung its metal gates open to a sold-out crowd Thursday night for the latest stop on Pitbull’s “Can’t Stop Us Now” traveling house party. Supporting Pitbull once again on his trek through Atlanta was four-time Grammy Award nominee Iggy Azalea, whom together also performed at this same venue nearly one year ago while out on their 2021 I Feel Good Tour.
Shortly after 8:00pm and with a little chill in the evening air, Azalea and her dancing crew took to the stage to help heat up the night. Opening with the song “Work” from her 2014 debut studio album, The New Classic, the predominantly female crowd (mostly in the 15-50 age group) leapt to their dancing feet. Azalea and her four dancers pranced back and forth across the stage in front of an enormous video screen that displayed vibrant colors, and at various times her rotating logoed name.
Throughout the 14-song set, Azalea seemingly enjoyed flaunting her sexuality, accentuated by her outfit and bootie-shaking at the crowd. The shrieking of her fans hit a decibel-deafening pitch when she performed her Billboard Hot 100 number one hit “Fancy” to round out her night. With my 15-year-old daughter in tow for the event, I asked her to review Azalea’s performance. She thought Azalea “came across as a TikTok influencer who was trying to be a rapper.” Oh well, to each their own.
Just before 9:30pm, the house lights went dark and the capacity crowd that stretched all the way to the back of the lawn area behind the fixed venue seats rose out of their chairs. The large side stage screens played a 1-minute countdown video, leading to the two huge black curtains dropping to reveal Pitbull on the top of a riser.
As Pitbull, along with his band and dancing squad, launched into his 2012 hit single “Don’t Stop the Party,” I couldn’t help but think “Man, this is INSANE.” The entire audience of 15,000 fans were jumping up and down in unison, singing “YEAH-AH-YEAH-AH-YEAH” at the top of their lungs. You could easily feel the celebratory buzz in the crisp fall air.
Having put my clubbing and fraternity party days a long distance behind me, I was a bit surprised as to how many of his songs were still familiar to an old guy like me. However, I figured if you had attended a Bar Mitzvah, wedding, or any other large party event in the past twenty years, it would be impossible not to be exposed to any number of Pitbull’s hits, including “Fireball,” “Timber,” and “Time of Our Lives.”
Throughout the show, Pitbull also spent a good amount of time articulating a positive message to the fans about taking moments out to appreciate life, put down the cell phones and social media, and just be good people of the world. This was especially poignant as he rolled into his 2013 song “Feel This Moment,” where he reminded everyone that “there is no such thing as perfect and everyone is imperfect. And that means when you look at yourself, you can say ‘I’m perfect’.”
The energetic evening concluded with a confetti shower and rousing musical performance of “Give Me Everything,” Pitbull’s number one single from his sixth studio album released in 2011, Planet Pit. This show was amazingly exhausting to watch and be embedded in (I spent some time out in the lawn crowd, too), and I can’t even imagine what the atmosphere will be like when the tour concludes near his hometown of Miami, Florida, at the Hard Rock Live for back-to-back nights next Wednesday and Thursday, October 19th and 20th.
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Elliott is a music photographer covering shows in Atlanta, Georgia, and the surrounding area. The highlight of his photography career was back in the early ’90s, when he sold Neil Diamond the rights to his negatives from a show and then purchased a set of tires for his 1979 280ZX during college with the money.