Balvin kicked off his worldwide Arcoiris Tour at Coachella in April in support of his 2018 solo album, Vibras, along with Oasis, his 2019 collaborative album with fellow reggaetonero Bad Bunny. This past Saturday, the vibrant show made its way to the Triple A.
As the diverse crowd began to fill the arena all the way up to the nosebleeds, Puerto Rican singer Lyanno and Bad Bunny collaborator Eladio Carrion, with a slew of their own reggaeton and Latin trap tracks, prepped the crowd for the trip on which they were about to embark.
“Trip” is the operative word here: When the curtain fell on the massive stage setup and Balvin opened with the 2018 single “Reggaeton,” whimsical visuals of rainbows and animated characters filled the screens while eight dancers dressed as Michelin Men with cartoon cloud heads joined the singer at the front of the stage. As the show progressed, more characters joined the fray, and Balvin’s psychedelic stages began looking more and more like the backdrop of a Steven Universe episode.
After warming the audience up with Vibras single “Machika” and song of the summer “Con Altura” (complete with a cartoonified Rosalía singing along on the screens), Balvin took a moment to speak from the heart. “Tonight, with you, I’m José, not J Balvin,” he said to the crowd. “José is just like you, goes through the same things you do, and is the same normal person that you are.” He joked, however, that no one should call him “Josecito,” because that nickname is reserved for his mom in Medellín.
The colorful characters that Balvin’s dancers assumed throughout the show are the creations of the L.A.-based, Miami-founded experiential art collective FriendsWithYou. The artists recently partnered with Balvin and Guess — with whom Balvin launched a successful collaboration this year — to create limited-edition tour merchandize and provided the Arcoiris Tour dancers with blow-up suits emulating some of the group’s recurring characters.
About midway through the show, he vanished from the Triple A's main stage and appeared on an isolated secondary stage on the opposite end of the arena floor. Surrounded by inflatable mushrooms, Balvin met the audience members of section 112 eye-to-eye when he was lifted nearly 30 feet in the air on a cylindrical, candy cane-striped platform. He then took a moment to reference the separation of families across borders, expressing to the audience his belief that this moment of darkness will eventually pass. Numerous similar moments throughout the show humanized Balvin to the audience even as he put on a larger-than-life spectacle for them.
While Balvin performed a number of his collaborations with Bad Bunny (from Oasis as well as other projects), San Benito did not make an appearance in person at Saturday’s show. He did, however, appear in FriendsWithYou form: After a few introductory bars from Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 single “I Like It Like That,” Balvin was joined onstage by hilarious big-headed versions of Cardi B and Bad Bunny as he performed his verse from “I Like It,” the trio’s chart-topping hit from last year.
Instead, Balvin was joined by Puerto Rican singer/rapper Anuel AA for “China,” their collaboration with Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, and Karol G before unsurprisingly closing the show with “Mi Gente,” his breakthrough 2017 collaboration with Willy William (and, eventually, Beyoncé). As rainbow-colored confetti rained down on the lower half of the arena, Balvin was joined by all of his dancers — at this point dressed as different mushrooms, popsicles, and Cookie Monsters — leaving the stage with a bow of gratitude.