Jennifer Lopez Returns to the Bronx!
Jennifer Lopez's Bronx, N.Y., homecoming proved two things on Wednesday night (June 4): the Castle Hill native revels in her "Jenny From the Block" days and she can change wardrobe at the speed of light.
The beaming singer kicked off the first of State Farm's Neighborhood Sessions concerts by returning to her Bronx roots for a 90-minute set at Orchard Beach that included a laser light show, plenty of special guests and some of her greatest hits.
25,000 tickets were given out for the free outdoor performance -- which was surrounded by food trucks, salsa-dancing Boys & Girls Club members and a live mural painting by artists Sexer, Zimad and Marthalicia -- and as soon as J.Lo hit the stage, fans rushed through the field to get a closer look at the woman who was putting on a full show in her 'hood for the first time since her career launched years ago.
Ironically, Lopez chose to sing Diddy-Dirty Money's 'Coming Home' at the start of her set and even wore a green tropical-inspired bodysuit with a plunging neckline similar to the famous Versace gown she donned at the 2000 Grammy Awards (Diddy was also her date for the affair). The 44-year-old should be applauded for not only her ability to maintain the same figure she had 14 years ago but also starting the show right on time at 8:30PM.
She performed songs from her early 2000s glory days ('Love Don't Cost a Thing') and those off her forthcoming LP, 'A.K.A,' ('First Love') to concert-goers' delight, yet the biggest response arrived when a few surprise rappers graced the stage to support her during several tracks.
"Do you mind if we take it back to the J.Lo days?" she asked the crowd. Ja Rule was the first, joining the songstress for 'I'm Real' and 'Ain't It Funny.' French Montana followed to assist Lopez with the bouncy 'I Luh Ya Papi' -- he even moved into his own hits like 'Ain't Worried About Nothin,' earning booming cheers from the crowd. But it was Fat Joe who capped off the "wow" factor of special guests by serving up his Terror Squad anthem 'Lean Back' and a new collaboration with Lopez that found her singing "Let me ask you a question / Do we look like we stressin'."
For her DJ Mustard-produced track 'Girls,' she danced provocatively on a velvet couch, wearing a white jeweled bodysuit and black garter belt stockings, and opted for a glittering blue hooded gown while dedicating a special set of Barbra Streisand songs like 'My Man' to her mother. Lopez burst into tears following the performance and while the audience cheered, she got down on her hands and knees to bow to them. For this moment at least, she was at the mercy of her legion of supporters.
Then there was the big Selena moment. Any Jennifer Lopez fan is familiar with her role in the 1997 film 'Selena' and she paid tribute to the late legendary chanteuse with her rendition of 'No Me Queda Más.' If this was a seated venue, there's no doubt her final note would have been met with a standing ovation since J.Lo is as close as Selena stans will get to the real deal.
'Let's Get Loud,' the Pitbull-assisted 'Live It Up' and the dance ode 'Waiting For Tonight' were just a few of the other tracks she offered before the event came to a close around 10PM. However, it was her encore number, 'Jenny From the Block,' that reminded those in attendance of her inner spirit.
Sporting a gold bedazzled fitted hat paired with another bodysuit (this one brightly colored) and singing lyrics like, "Used to have a little, now I have a lot / No matter where I go, I know where I came from," Lopez solidified the fact that she may be a busy woman traveling the world these days, but she's still the same girl sitting on that Bronx stoop at heart.