Maybe her famously injured back bothered her. Maybe she was too choked up to do the conga. Maybe words really did get in the way. But for someone whose sound is usually so grand, heated and generous, Gloria Estefan - the iconic Cuban-American songstress who put Latin pop on the charts before J. was Lo - seemed a cool presence during Friday's "farewell" tour stop at the Wachovia Center.
Certainly, she connected with her audience. Between her acoustic rendering of the traditional "Cuando Sali de Cuba" and '80s heartbreak ballads like the samba shuffling "Words Get in the Way," she spoke to the audience with quirky humor and genuine warmth, as if each member were an old friend.