J Balvin in Arequipa: a ‘hot-dog’ with spicy flavor

The Colombian reggaeton player met the public of the White City, which celebrated its anniversary in the Beer Garden. La Mosca Tsé-Tsé, Danny Ocean, Los Auténticos Decadentes and others also said present, and that is how we evaluated them.

J Balvin went to pray at a church in Arequipa in the morning, and at night he persisted in his hormonal agitation, like when he sings “I’m crazy to put you in four.” Let everyone judge whether there is a contradiction between one and the other or if it is, rather, a religious-reproductive syncretism that has made the Colombian an artist so, so controversial and popular.

The interpreter of “Mi gente” was the great star of the mega-concert at the Jardín de la Cerveza last Sunday in Arequipa, a show that served to receive the 482nd anniversary of the White City. It was precisely the aforementioned song that opened Balvin’s presentation, around 12:30 midnight.

With a backup voice throughout the show – without which it would lose strength and dynamism – and an effective dance cast that, due to their outfits, seemed like a cross between David Byrne and the characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale”, J Balvin’s it was quite remarkable. The impressive screens behind him, in addition to the pyrotechnics, rounded off a concert modeled on his most ambitious tours. There was nothing to save, despite the fact that the venue was not too large for what is customary in their shows.

Then we can discuss if his thing is really a simple hot-dog, as the Puerto Rican Residente made famous. In any case, the public was stuffed and satisfied with the Colombian sausage that stood out with songs such as “Qué calor”, “Restitución”, “No me quéme” and the one that closed the show, “In Da Getto”, some of the most night dances.

In total, an hour and a half of show that plans to repeat in Lima next October. But it is good that it happened first in Arequipa, as if to invert the usual order of factors.

But now let’s go back to the beginning of the show that really began with the peculiar appearance of the Peruvian band La Ficción. Peculiar because their indie pop seemed to break a bit with the musical profile of the other participants, and that their own vocalist acknowledged with an honest “I don’t know what we’re doing here”. Despite this, J Balvin’s presentation was a happy surprise, benefited from the good sound and audiovisual levels of the stage.

After them, the group Los 4 de Cuba was supposed to appear, but it never came on stage. It was the only unsuccessful number of the organization, which opted to fill the time slot of the Cuban orchestra with a set by DJ Diego Alonso, who acted as a fireman putting on such eclectic music – from reggaeton to cumbia, from rock to salsa– that it would put the UN to shame when it comes to tolerance and diversity. Point for the national ‘disc-jockey’.

After 9 p.m. a giant, phosphorescent inflatable fly rose on stage as an unequivocal signal that it was the turn of The Tse Tse Fly. The endearing group led by Guillermo Novellis offered a not very long set, but full of their own and others’ hits. There were nods and tributes to AC/DC (including the Novellis polo shirt), Guns N’ Roses and Soda Stereo, and there were no shortage of classics like “We all have a love”, “Dance for me”, “I want to eat your mouth” and “Not to see you anymore.”

The surprising thing about the case is that Novellis shows such dedication just seven years after having suffered a heart attack during a show. All of which makes his display on the podium even more admirable, as he even spared no thanks to Peru for its support of Argentina during the Malvinas war. =

And if La Mosca offered perhaps the best of the night, the worst would come immediately after. First, with the rapper? Jota Benz, whose presentation luckily did not last more than 15 minutes; and second, with the Venezuelan Danny Ocean, of bland performance. If there are work meetings that can be an ‘mail’, there are shows – like Ocean’s – that could easily be a TikTok.

Finally, we cannot fail to mention the brief midnight show that included a serenade and anthem of Arequipa, with some sober typical dances that put the traditional share of the night. There were many swollen breasts, which confirmed that the bulk of the attendees were locals. And that is also an excellent sign that the event fulfilled its decentralizing desire. Hopefully keep that profile in future occasions.

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