Miami is one of the only cities in the world that truly allows Latin culture to thrive. Last night, Venezuelans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and other Latin Americans converged on their place of worship: the Bad Bunny concert at American Airlines Arena. They gathered not only to repent their sins but also to devote themselves to the god of Latin trap.
The arena lights dimmed to blue and the crowd began to chant ”Bad Bunny.” Their lord and savior appeared from stage left in a godly, all-white matching jacket and shorts set with a black T-shirt. His neon-green shoes and sunglasses glowed in the lights as he paced the cross-shaped stage, excited to deliver the sermon of the night. In Bad Bunny we trust.
The Puerto Rican native kicked off the show with “Ni Bien Ni Mal,” a crowd favorite from his debut album, X 100pre, which was released late last year. He was joined by a handful of Latina dancers in red sweatpants who set the mood for a fiery start of the show. As he transitioned into “200 MPH,” the crowd pushed to the front while Bad Bunny greeted each side of the stage. Two girls wearing bunny-ear headbands reached over the barricades in hopes of receiving a blessing, but security blocked them.
Bad Bunny then went into “Caro,” another crowd favorite that tops Latin trap playlists today. The stage started to light up in neon graphics depicting palm trees, then faded back to black to feature a "third eye," an image that's a staple for the artist; it blinked creepily as he performed. Between the transition of “Caro” and “Dime Si Te Acuerdas,” he stopped to wipe his sweat with his crisp white jacket. Bad Bunny doesn’t worry about stains ruining a jacket that he probably won’t ever wear again. He then jumped into “Otra Noche en Miami,” and the crowd lost its shit while singing along to the perfect track for the night.
At a Latin concert, you’d expect a few surprise appearances from staples in the community. Instead, we got Lil Pump. Appearing from the left side of the stage wearing a neon-green, long-sleeve tee with matching shoes, he performed his hit single “Gucci Gang.” The crowd seemed to have no idea who he was but continued to jump and attempt to sing along. He performed a snippet of “I Love It” featuring Kanye West before exiting the stage.
Bad Bunny returned to his regularly scheduled sermon with “Solo de Mi” as the crowd sang perfectly on-key. Of course, no Latin affair is complete without a rendition of “Te Bote,” which prompted those same two Bad Bunny fans to reach over the barrier again, only to be removed from the area completely. The show continued with his first Top 10 single, “Mia.” Unfortunately, Drake was not there to sing his part, but the audience held it down for him. From there, Ñejo made an appearance and performed his single “No Tienes Novio.”
The show couldn’t have been any better, but Bad Bunny had more up his sweaty sleeves. J Balvin appeared in a multicolored T-shirt, baby-blue pants, and dark sunglasses, and the crowd melted down in excitement. Latin trap’s finest gave concertgoers exactly what they wanted with a performance of “Sensualidad,” “I Like It,” and more.
As the night came to an end, white confetti poured from the roof and Bad Bunny thanked seemingly every Spanish-speaking country except Panama. Miami’s Latinos can wholeheartedly say they were blessed.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the song "Sensualidad."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.