El Dorado concert movie review

Shakira, you truly are the golden one

It’s no secret that we all have – whether we like it or not – a favourite musician we dub a guilty pleasure. No matter how music savvy we claim to be, there is that one rapper, pop icon, or country singer we grew up listening to, and cannot for the life of us let go of.

In my case, it’s a 5’2 Colombian icon, who goes by the name Shakira. When I was nine years old, I would hide in my room and replay the quintessential song of the 2000s, “Whenever, Wherever” with its iconic music video to replicate Shakira’s exact moves. My dream was to attend one of her concerts and watch her front-and-centre.

So when she announced her El Dorado world tour, I was over the moon. Finally! My childhood dreams would come true … until they didn’t.

Life got in the way, and I was not able to attend any of her shows, be it the Montreal concert, or the one she had in Lebanon. Imagine my frustration, knowing I could have been present at both shows, only to attend neither. Eff my life, eh?

Luckily, this woman goes above and beyond for her art and her fans. On Nov. 13, a one-night-only screening of her world tour was shown worldwide, and I had the greatest pleasure of attending it.

The thing that always fascinated me about Shakira was her voice. I’ve come across a lot of people either criticizing it for being “weird,” or making fun of it because she sounded like a goat. I would quote them directly, but we’re no longer friends, for obvious reasons. 

Shakira has what is called a coloratura contralto, a “unique and versatile vocal styling that incorporates a yodelling-like technique as well as Arabic influences,” as described in Convenient, if you think about it, considering she is half-Lebanese.

The thing is, before I knew what any of this technical talk meant, I always used to draw comparisons between her voice and belly dancing. It astounded me how – similar to the undulating of her hips when dancing – the uneven sounds she would make when singing (and I don’t mean this in a bad way) would take me on some sort of trip. Weirdly, whenever I would listen to her music, I would find myself “riding a wave.”

In El Dorado, the fans are shown the many sides of this pop-culture icon. Shakira is, in every sense, a devoted artist. Although the concert seems to have an effortless, party-like atmosphere, the movie shows that behind-the-scenes, the singer has calculated every bit of detail, from the smallest false note to the ethereal lighting, to make sure her fans come out of the concert hall satisfied. A committed performer in every form, Shakira is not one to take her craft lightly. 

Some would remember that various concert dates were postponed due to her falling ill and losing her voice. She describes this period of her life in the movie as “one of the hardest things she’s ever had to go through.” She also stated that her voice defines who she is, and to lose that would mean to lose herself. Luckily, all worked out for the best, and nothing derailed her from putting on an amazing show.

Vibrant, colourful, fun, and transcendental, Shakira’s concert is the embodiment of who she truly is as an artist, and warrants the name “The Golden One.” 

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