Bad Bunny captivated the AT&T Stadium crowd on Friday

Bad Bunny captivated the AT&T Stadium crowd on Friday

A bad bunny show has a visceral feel – It fills your ears with weight, as if your eardrums have lungs and just did some sort of weight training at Crunch Fitness. And it’s not just the artist’s music that creates that cushioning cushion between your temporal bone and your eardrum. It comes from the people around you expressing a contagious mood of emotions that shift from joy to sadness and back to joy.

Bad Bunny sang and spoke in Spanish throughout his two-hour performance at AT&T Stadium on Friday to a crowd who seemed to know all of his songs by heart, regardless of the language they use.

Bad Bunny, a former Puerto Rican grocery packer named Benito Martínez Ocasio, has become the king of pop music. With the thrust of a NASA rocket capable of exceeding the speed of light, it has a range beyond its medium. He is Spotify’s most-streamed artist and the first musician to have released an all-Spanish album, El Último Tour Del Mundoto, to reach the top of the Billboard 200 chart. He’s won endless awards, collaborated with the likes of Drake and Cardi B, used a song in a Joe Biden ad (and not one that the campaign co-opted without prior approval), and embarked on a film career that will eventually land him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fans at the Bad Bunny concert on Friday night.

His ability to reach and touch so many people, regardless of their language, is a testament to the true power that great music can wield when someone knows how to use it for something other than making Scrooge McDuck so rich that you can swim in it to satisfy their craving for attention.

Luckily, Bad Bunny on his World’s Hottest Tour stopped in Dallas at a time of year when our hellish heat is bearable. He opened the show with “Moscow Mule,” an obvious crowd favorite that’s more of a love ballad about living in the moment.

It was a full stadium at AT&T on Friday.

As he took to the stage in a macrame leisure suit, the crowd showed a deafening level of love and affection. While it seems like he’s been in the charts forever, it’s easy to forget that it’s only been a few years since he started out with nothing more than a basic Soundcloud account.

The stage was decorated to match the tour’s summer beach theme, but could morph into colorful displays of fire-breathing ferocity in a matter of seconds. It was a live concert that didn’t rely on flashy multimedia to distract you between songs or to keep the energy pumping, a rare stadium concert focused on the music. Heck, Bad Bunny didn’t even have back-up dancers until the fifth song when he started singing “Party.” Probably because it’s a song about a party and it would be stupid if only one guy up there sang a song about a party.

The first, and probably only, moment of real silence came just after the show took a more serious turn with “La Romana,” an introspective tune delicately interspersed with more moody tones. It was an eerie stillness because it was in the midst of a noisy, vibrant, colorful show of explosive joy. It didn’t hit you over the head with any sort of message – it was a more meditative moment, with the audio changing from loud to quiet so quickly you swore you could hear your own thoughts.

Bad Bunny’s show had at least two more such crescendos, moving from introspective love songs like “Vete” to satirical numbers like “Yo Perreo Sola” and then back to experimental party-pop like “Safaera.”

It finally ended when Bad Bunny was lifted off the catwalk onto a neon-topped island oasis that hovered over the heads of fans in the floor seats, coming fairly close to the highest seats in the rafters. He was then able to make eye contact with some of his fans, who until then had to squint to catch a glimpse of his face.

It’s a moving testimony to his fans who helped him reach such a high level in life so quickly, regardless of how much money they had to pay to a fee-based ticket agent to have the privilege of seeing him perform in person .

Bad Bunny had elaborate sets, but they didn’t outshine the music.

Bad Bunny is an interesting character to watch at this point in his surely storied career because he’s in his prime and still seems gratefully incredulous about it. He has become so successful, so popular, and so critically acclaimed in such a short space of time that it seems as though even he cannot believe how easily he can hold an audience’s attention and admiration in his palm.

Bad Bunny spoke to the crowd on Friday, regardless of their language.

The rapper/singer fell silent a few times as he just gazed out at the crowd, taking in the cheers and chants as if expecting to wake up from a truly awesome Ambien-produced dream. It was just delightful to see someone his size cherish this moment while being with the people who got him there.

Bad Bunny fans took him to the top in just a few short years.

The aftermath of many stadium shows is a sustained ringing sound, produced by bands who think being loud equates to entertainment, or by the high-pitched squeals of crowds at bubblegum pop shows with performers playing dogs in neighboring counties at the tiniest pool could perk up exercise. Bad Bunny’s show felt like the end of a 20-hour flight to a soothing, faraway place, a wonderfully enlightening experience – even for those of us outside the wheelhouse – that transcended language and culture.

A Bad Bunny fan at At&T Stadium.

Bad Bunny’s show wasn’t bad at all.

A small sampling of Bad Bunny’s worldwide fan base.

Is El Ultimo Tour del mundo his last album?

Is El Ultimo Tour del mundo his last album?
Children under the age of 4 do not need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Guests 18 years and older must show photo ID.
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