Reviews

Bad Bunny Held the Crowd in the Palm of His Hand During El Último Tour del Mundo at FTX Arena

Bad Bunny performing on the second night of a three-night stint at the FTX Arena on Saturday, April 2. See more photos from Bad Bunny at FTX Arena here.
Bad Bunny performing on the second night of a three-night stint at the FTX Arena on Saturday, April 2. See more photos from Bad Bunny at FTX Arena here. Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
Last night, during his second of three performances at the FTX Arena, Bad Bunny showed off his ability to hold an audience of over 20,000 in his hand and interact with them in a way that, even from rows away, felt genuine and personal.

Maybe it's to be expected in Miami, but this was not a jeans-and-cute-T-shirt type of concert. Most women wore stiletto heels and dresses appropriate for a night out at E11even or LIV. Guys donned Gucci bomber jackets, Dior pants, and creaseless sneakers. They were dressed less for the show and more for whatever they planned to do afterward. But some chose the über-fan route, sporting bunny ears and the tiny colored glasses emblematic of Bad Bunny's early years.

When you consider the ticket prices — seats in the front rows of the first section off the pit went for about $600 a pop — perhaps dressing to impress should be the norm. The merch was equally eyebrow-raising, with one hoodie going for $130.

Even on the second night, the arena appeared to be filled. Unsurprisingly, for his upcoming tour, he's scheduled to perform at Hard Rock Stadium, with a capacity of over 65,000, for two nights. (The back-to-back performances will probably draw more people to the stadium than the Dolphins have in a while.)

But center stage at FTC last night — too big to cover, though a black tarp did attempt to — was as a massive semi-truck, over 50 feet long. If you've seen enough photos and posts from previous shows, then you knew Bad Bunny was about to use the truck's roof as his stage. And you couldn't help but wonder how long it must've taken to construct it, let alone get it inside the arena.
Around 9:45, when the truck let out a thunderous honk and a spit of fire from its exhaust pipes, it was showtime. That was all the audience, even those in the nosebleeds, needed to be brought to their feet.

As the opening lines of "El Mundo Es Mío" played, the truck inched forward, and Bad Bunny, clad all in pink, ascended from the center of the flatbed with the drama of a gladiator in ancient Rome, split-stanced and straight-faced.

For about two minutes, he stood there, letting the crowd soak in his power as they screamed — and screamed. And screamed. He made a gag of it, letting the video screens capture every angle of his deadpan gaze from behind a pair of thick sunglasses, slowly turning to each side of the room to bloodcurdling wails.

And almost as soon as he finally jumped into "Booker T," the smell of weed and sight of perreo began to take over.
During the first few songs, it felt like he was building up his energy rather than exploding it all at once — understandable given that he's under pressure to cater to a crowd this hyped for three consecutive nights after performing more than 30 shows in the last two months.

At first, it seemed he was going to be standing on top of the truck all night, but during "Te Mudaste," the semi's versatility revealed itself as it became a moving, expandable platform that switched between three separate runways and one flat, lowered stage that itself was a screen, changing colors and showing moving videos beneath Bad Bunny's feet.

His latest studio album, El Último Tour del Mundo, betrays a notable amount of rock influence, and there was a live band to show that off. The backing band consisted of two guitarists, both with mops of curly hair, whom Bad Bunny brought up on the stage with him several times. And rightly so — their playing was insane. In true metal fashion, pyrotechnics (from offstage and the exhaust pipes) came with each heavy strum.

The band had Benito jumping, running, and bouncing from one end of the stage to the other. And the way he belted out that last "así" note in "Yo Visto Así" let everyone know his vocal cords were just fine.
Bad Bunny could've carried the show by himself, but seeing how so much of his music is anthemic to clubs and bars — especially here in Miami — I didn't foresee that being the vibe. My suspicions were confirmed when, during "La Noche de Anoche," out came five dancers to move in a sensual circle around Bad Bunny in place of Rosalia's presence. (She's busy these days with the success of her latest album, Motomami.) The dancers wore combat boots and flowy white dresses reminiscent of the Spanish singer's outfit in the music video.

During "Sorry Papi," a full flight of dancers returned, including men and women of all shapes and colors clad in black bodysuits. Benito sat at the edge of the semi and let the dancers take center stage. But before the last verse, the dancers left, and Benito got personal with the crowd, removing his shades. He talked about how it felt like the world was ending during quarantine, how grateful he was for his success and his fans, and how music is a tool for connection and a cure for loneliness.

He took a short break offstage after "Antes Que Se Acabe," another slower ballad, half-pretending the show was over — but the crowd knew full well it wasn't. He soon returned to perform "Si Veo a Tu Mamá." And during this second half came the real perreo.
From "La Difícil" to "Bichiyal," the dancers were more present and twerked on everything from Benito himself to the stage floor and the empty air in front of them. "Vete" warranted the loudest screaming and cheers yet. And couples cuddled up close to "Ignorantes," chiming in eagerly on the line, "que rico cuando chingamos." (If you don't know what it means, Google it.)

By the time he brought out Mora to sing "Una Vez" — to more cheers, though he'd come the night before, so it wasn't a surprise — the back of Bad Bunny's shirt was drenched in sweat.

"Yo Perreo Sola," "Safaera," and "Dákiti" were the successive holy trinity of the night. When the dancers are wearing knee pads, you know it's about to get serious. There were handstands, twerking in splits, and girls clad in hoodies and thongs. Benito himself was living up to his stage name, moving and jumping and hip-thrusting around the stage like an Energizer bunny.
The concert felt like it went by in a blink, but it lasted nearly three hours. Outside the pyrotechnics and the fact that a truck turned into a stage, there weren't a ton of crazy tricks or flashy production props. A few rows behind me, I overheard someone saying they suspected the label underfunded the tour because Bad Bunny "kinda just walked back and forth."

There's no accounting for taste. But for 99 percent of his fan base, Bad Bunny doesn't need much more than a microphone to have the audience in his thrall.
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