Amy Armstrong – Pride 2024 

Reprinted with permission of the author
The community of all backgrounds welcomes back Amy for several shows during Pride 2024. “You will laugh. You will cry. You will love.” She has been beloved locally for years, bringing new shows each season.

Joining her, as often in the past, were Al Ramirez, electric guitar and Luis Rascon, percussion. The trio are longtime friends who know full well how to make delightful music together, feeding off each other with strength and laughter. Immediately, Amy started with her humor, slightly on the racy side but not brash or over-controlling. “There is hope,” she said, and it became evident that this thought is the theme of the show, Pride Week or not, for everyone, all in the audience, have had struggles as they trod through life, never giving up, stretching for the light at the end of the rainbow and surviving. 

“I’m Still Standing” was the perfect song to start the evening, expressing these thoughts (of Elton John): “Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid. I’m still standing after all this time. Picking up the pieces of my life.” Then, she softly rocked “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” from Tears For Fears. Mimi took several parts with his solo strumming. Amy considers Michael Jackson one of the greatest entertainers of all time, complete with his singular dance moves like the Moonwalk. She cherishes the album Thriller and mentioned that she has developed a slow, smooth version of one of his huge dance hits, “Billie Jean.” Softly and slowly, she sang about a woman claiming falsely that she bore his child. It was a beautiful presentation which soothed the crowd, accepting the love and joy which she projected out to everyone there. That is a mark of a top true professional. 

Reminiscing back on her musical joys in life, she cited Solid Gold where she viewed Hall and Oates. So, she presented a song that she joked is most likely very popular with gay men here for Pride Week: “Maneater.” She had asked what the title translated into Spanish and she was told ‘puta.’ Amy joked that early in her Puerto Vallarta days, men would call her that, and she thought it meant beautiful, and all along, it meant whore! She blasted the tune, filling the room and the street below. Her vocals are strong, clear and always on target. She is an amazing woman who blesses our community with her presence.

Amy structured this show on her beloved songs over the years, so it is particularly personal. She sings from the heart incorporating the lyrics which express her feelings and beliefs. Being a heterosexual woman who loves her men, she has many gay and bi friends and stands with them in their search for acceptance, espousing DEI which stands for diversity, equity and inclusion.   

Mimi’s guitar strokes electrified the space and Amy ignited with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” which confesses as a child, “I’d hide and pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by.” Mimi and Luis are an essential part of the night’s experience, not merely a couple of background musicians. The three gave all that they possessed and the sound was fantastic.

She chatted about the greatest musical comeback of the 80s, Tina Turner, who turned her abused life into international success and stood up to her departure at 83. “Simply The Best” echoed the fond results of her stamina. “Better than all the rest.” Amy slid into “Proud Mary,” starting slow and easy, then bursting into high gear and a rousing ending. She wished to include Amy Winehouse tonight. She was a struggler, full of demons, losing her battle in the end but leaving a legacy of song. “Back To Black” was her selection and it was sad, sung solemnly, but strikingly beautiful.

Her announced finale was Prince’s “Purple Rain,”  appropriate since earlier, she had revealed that Prince was the first concert she had seen. She sang of being with the ones you love, striving through potentially bad endings, the purple rain. There is always Hope. The crowd responded loudly with the love and support of Amy, who has had her share of struggles and setbacks, but she persevered onward.

Voices shouted, ‘Otra,’ so Amy asked, “You want an encore?” ‘Yes!’ She returned with Tina’s  “She Works Hard For The Money,” stirring the room with its forceful message. “You better treat her right.”


  • Gary Beck

    My first visit to Puerto Vallarta was in 1979, and 16 years ago, it became my second home. Live entertainment has always been a close interest of mine; I enjoy attending, taking notes and photos, writing, editing, and finally posting on my Facebook Group, PuertoVallartaShows.

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