by MIKE CHAIKEN
Bad Bunny rocked the house Sunday.
Actually, he rocked the Mohegan Sun Arena, swayed it, and probably moved it a few degrees to the south.
The audience of the Puerto Rican Latin trap vocalist danced and bounced so vigorously at the sold out April 7 show at the Mohegan Sun Arena, the seats and floors felt like the ocean, undulating and vibrating beneath your feet. The crowd was standing from the moment Bad Bunny popped up on stage. Standing there amongst them, I found myself trying to anchor my leg so I did not topple over from the earthquake of dancing on the aluminum floors.
In all of my years attending a concert at the Mohegan Sun, I have never experienced such a sensation simply from fans having a good time.
What’s all the more amazing about the audience reaction is that Bad Bunny just released his debut album “Por 100pre” last December. Before that, he had just a few independent releases and several featured guest spots.
There are artists who manage to find a way to connect to their audience and Bad Bunny clearly has demonstrated that he’s got what the fans want.
And the fans, mostly in their 20s and 30s, and a smattering of 40 year olds, clearly were in love with Bad Bunny.
Again, I have been to a lot of shows. Invariably, there will be one song from an artist – typically, the biggest hit where fans will start to sing the words. But at the Bad Bunny show, I lost track of how many times the fans hijacked the songs from the vocalist because they knew the words so well. All around me, fans of Bad Bunny were pulling out their phones and recording Snapchats of themselves to prove to their friends at home that they knew the lyrics by heart.
Apparently, the fans of Bad Bunny not only like his music, they consume it for three square meals a day and a couple of snacks. And Bad Bunny must run through their heads at night as they dream of even more Bad Bunny.
Bad Bunny’s form of singsong rapping, which is common to Latin trap, was hypnotic. Even though I don’t speak Spanish, I was carted along across the beat and rhythm of his words.
Vocally, which is key for an artist like Bad Bunny, the star was on top of his game. For those familiar with “Por 100pre,” there would have been no let down. Bad Bunny delivered what the fans have heard in the grooves.
Although he was an hour-late to hit the stage, when he did hit the stage, he gave the fans their money’s worth with a 30-song-or-so setlist, including hits like “Mia” and “200mph” and a few covers from the likes of Cardi B and Daddy Yankee.
In terms of his own stage presence, Bad Bunny grabbed and held onto your attention. Bad Bunny never stopped moving. Situated on a stage in the center of the arena, with fans on all sides, he moved like a prizefighter sometimes even ducking and dodging his backup dancers.
The stage itself would have made an arena rock band proud with blinding pyrotechnics, a spaceship-like lighting rig, and a stage that created all sorts of computer graphics magic. It helped add excitement to an already stoked audience.
Besides offering insight into the phenomenal popularity of Bad Bunny, the show also offered a little political insight about residents in the U.S. who speak Spanish.
At one point in the show, Bad Bunny shouted out a rollcall of Spanish speaking countries. Each nation earned a passionate cheer. When he got to Puerto Rico – Bad Bunny’s home- the audience exploded with joy.
The passion of the crowd for their ancestral homes made me wonder what would happen when those who speak Spanish harnessed their energies for politics as tightly as they harnessed them to watch Bad Bunny.
I give Bad Bunny three-and-half stars out of four (docking a half star for the late start time).
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN