Under the glaring lights of the Kaseya Center, a celestial force descended upon the stage this past Saturday, igniting the city with a reggaeton fervor like no other. Dominican-American reggaetonero Arcángel, clad in a pristine white Prada ensemble, transported the crowd into a realm of musical magic with his Just in Time Tour.
From the opening number, he made it clear that he's a classy man, opting for a glass of Champagne rather than the predictable bottle of water to accompany him throughout his two-hour set. As he wielded his mic, adorned with the head of a white serpent, the imagery only further signaled his desire to bless the audience with his supernatural prowess in the realm of perreo.
Much like Katniss Everdeen — if the Hunger Games heroine was Dominican with a full beard and tatted torso — Arcángel drew an imaginary arrow from behind his back with a swift, fluid motion at the beginning of each track. Once he launched the ethereal arrow, he quickly incited the sold-out crowd into a frenzy of cheers as the familiar reggaeton rhythms reverberated through the arena.
While Arcángel's resurgence is undoubtedly marked by chart-toppers like "La Jumpa," featuring Bad Bunny, and "Diles," with Farruko, Ñengo Flow, and Ozuna, he is most known as a foundational figure in reggaeton's early 2000s ascent. With an earnest promise to transport the audience back in time alongside an army of dancers, he surely followed through on this nostalgic journey.
It would have been easy to think going into an Arcángel show that the artist isn't typically known for his solo songs, leaving it up to the imagination as to what tracks he would play for the duration of the concert. But to the audience's surprise, the reggaetonero had several tricks up his sleeve, bringing out Billboard chart-topping and urbano legends such as Jowell & Randy, Nicky Jam, Justin Quiles, and El Alfa, sending out seismic waves of excitement. He sang some of his guests' most-loved hits alongside them, from Nicky Jam's "Travesuras" to El Alfa's "La Mamá de La Mamá," while also indulging viewers with his own collaborations like "Tussi," featuring Justin Quiles, and "Agresivo," with Jowell & Randy.
However, the true revelation of the evening, especially for those unacquainted with Arcángel's stage persona, was his comedic flair as he chatted casually with the crowd in between tracks. He could quite effortlessly make the packed house laugh with his Dominican swagger, saying some of the funniest things you could hear at a concert because he's simply stating what's on his mind.
As the second half of the show unfolded, a video montage illuminated the arena's screens. Legends such as De La Ghetto, Myke Towers, and Eladio Carrión joined Arcángel in the story of reggaeton's ascent, recounting their journeys into the industry. Arcángel and De La Ghetto notably reminisced about their early collaborations and meteoric rise to fame, tracing back to their shared signing in 2006.
After the much-needed break, Arcángel appeared once again, this time in a light-blue silk set and ready to launch into the next track. "Wow, I'm a little more flexible now; look at that," he said as he squatted down to release an "arrow" into the forthcoming song.
In a final encore, his collaborators gathered for one last farewell, reinforcing the essence of reggaeton as a collective creation. While some may not immediately recognize Arcángel as the ultimate reggaeton artist, Saturday's performance transcended mere entertainment, solidifying his reign as a serious performer of our generation that should never be taken for granted.