Bad Bunny takes virtual concerts to next level

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Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views Mashups

Originally from Puerto Rico, Bad Bunny first started gaining notice on SoundCloud. His latest album ‘YHLQMDLG’ debuted at number two.

Bad Bunny’s sophomore album, “YALQMDLG” (“Yo hago lo que me da la gana,” Spanish for “I do whatever I want”), was released on Feb. 29 and debuted at number two right before the pandemic hit. 

 With Bad Bunny currently quarantining in Puerto Rico, he surprised fans with his first ever virtual concert. 

In a pre-recorded interview, Bad Bunny revealed that he didn’t want to do a virtual concert when he was offered to earlier in the year; he felt it would be difficult to do without an audience and was afraid he wouldn’t be able to feel the energy from his fans. 

“I didn’t want to, but I’m accepting the new reality. The idea is to unite people in any way I can. I hope people enjoy this. We need it,” Bad Bunny said. 

“We leave you with the icon of music,” the showcasters said as the camera switched to Bad Bunny on top of a moving bus in all black attire, performing through the streets of New York. 

 Just like when he performed pre-COVID, his energy on stage was transcendent, dancing despite having to dodge street lights and trees. Fans chasing the bus and people singing at home connected with him just like they would in person. 

Bad Bunny’s versatility took us straight into  Puerto Rico through his reggaeton sound. He performed “La dificil,” “Pero ya no,” “Bichiyal,” “A tu Merced” and “La santa,” belting lyrics full of energy and then quickly putting us straight into our feelings with songs like “Vete.”  

It’s hard to describe reggaeton, but it’s a genre you’ll come to love no matter how you’re feeling.   It can get you in your feelings or get you hyped and energized.

If this virtual concert wasn’t a surprise enough, he had surprise guests from different corners of the world. From Panama City, Sech joined to perform “Ignorantes,” then Mora in Puerto Rico to perform “Una vez,” and in the second half of the show, Colombian singer J Balvin virtually arrived to perform “La cancion,” taking us into a world of reminiscing love.  

The trailer he performed on started in the Bronx by Yankee Stadium, then drove through Washington Heights — both very Latin areas of New York. Bad Bunny ended the grand performance by honoring essential workers when the bus came to a stop singing “Yo Perreo Sola” in front of Harlem Hospital. 

“Respect and thanks to those people who have sacrificed their lives in this city,” he said. “With a lot of faith in God, I sense that good things are coming. I know we are going through very difficult times.” Bad Bunny threw any virtual concert expectations out the window and revolutionized them, just as he has with the reggaeton genre. 

Bad Bunny is beyond music — he’s an icon. As his sophomore album says, he does what he wants, and this is why he is so loved by the world. “Regarding my art, my music and what is mine, I do as I think and what I feel,” he said. 

Standing with his people, and his island, he performed his concert the way he wanted to; he designed his bus and set the date on the three year anniversary of hurricane Maria, a storm that not only destroyed his island, but revealed the corruption within. 

Reminding his fans to learn from Puerto Rico and not stay silent, he highlighted the importance of voting, saying “We must vote and raise our voices because it boils down to giving ourselves respect as people and as Latinos. That’s why you have to go vote.”