Pitbull concertgoers torn between safety and enjoying the show

The show was the first major concert in Phoenix since the Manchester bombing.

PHOENIX - The first big concert in the Valley since the deadly attack at an Ariana Grande show in Manchester was Wednesday night as fans packed Talking Stick Arena to see Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias.

Many of them were torn between staying alert and enjoying the night.

"With everything that's going on, it makes you think about a lot of stuff. Are you going to be safe this time?" said Jorge Ramirez right before walking into the arena.

"I guess it's kind of in the back of your mind but honestly, you can't stop living your life," said another Pitbull fan, Priscilla Vasquez.

John Iannarelli is a retired FBI special agent who literally wrote the book on spotting terrorism. The book is called "How to Spot a Terrorist: Before it's too late." He said concertgoers need to be more vigilant of their surroundings outside the arena than they do inside.

"The minute people walk into an arena like tonight, they are going to be perfectly safe because of security, but getting there, getting past the magnetometers, you want to be aware of what's around you," said Iannarelli.

Outside Talking Stick Arena is what law enforcement calls a soft target. It's easier for someone to do harm without having to pass through security. The attack in Manchester is a prime example: The bombing happened just outside the arena doors.

Iannarelli says security is tight at big events these days, but we as citizens can do a better job of protecting ourselves.

"At this point in our time if anything needs to change it's the public becoming aware," he said. "Not paranoid, but aware of the threats that are out there. Knowing your capabilities."

Most concertgoers told us they feel perfectly safe coming to events like this, but recent events are definitely changing the way they think.

You have to be more openminded and keep your eyes open. Watch your surroundings and watch your back at all times," Ramirez said.

There was a heavy police presence out front of the arena and we did see a police K-9 Wednesday night as well. Talking Stick Resort Arena can't share any new security measures with the public for safety reasons, but everything appeared just fine for concertgoers.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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