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Review: Pitbull's Tampa concert was a hot-blooded Florida homecoming

At Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday night, Mr. Florida was home.

"We came from California, Texas," Pitbull said. "It's nice to be in Florida baby."

Over the next 90 minutes, the state's official tourism ambassador made us pretended like we actually make it to the beach or the club every day.

"Nobody parties like folks from Florida. ... We got that hot blood. ... We home, we in Tampa now."

I nearly forgot he was getting paid to say it.

The official advertisement came before Pitbull took the stage. The two screens projected a brief ad for LoveFL.com, showing scenes from his Sexy Beaches music video released earlier this month.

Related: From the 305 to worldwide, Pitbull is Florida's paid ambassador (w/video)

It was quickly overshadowed, though, as we danced with Mr. Worldwide through more than a dozen top-40 hits throwing back to Culo (2004), Calle Ocho/I Know You Want Me (2009), Hotel Room Service (2009), International Love (2012), and ending the night with Give Me Everything (2011).

Pitbull's performance may have been shorter than some of his others, but the openers, Farruko and Prince Royce made up the difference.

A charmer, Prince Royce in particular captured the crowd's heart when he pulled two audience members on stage. The first was a middle-aged man named Michael who serenaded his wife, Vicky, with the 27-year-old's help. It happened to be their anniversary.

Prince Royce later pulled a woman named Alyssa from the audience, where they sang to each other and ended the song with a kiss and a red rose.

It was a stark contrast to Pitbull's performance, which at one point included a video of 17 thonged backsides moving to the beat.

The Miami native told the crowd that he has been performing in Tampa for 16 years and celebrated the city of Tampa and its Latino roots.

It's been nearly a year since Pitbull signed on as the state's paid tourism ambassador, but it's clear that even if the contract comes to a close, Pitbull has a deep love for the Sunshine State that spans beyond the 305. On Saturday night, we all celebrated that love together.

Alli Knothe can be reached at aknothe@tampabay.com. Follow @KnotheA.

Review: Pitbull's Tampa concert was a hot-blooded Florida homecoming 07/31/16 [Last modified: Sunday, July 31, 2016 3:40pm]
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