Bad Bunny makes Coachella history as first Latin solo artist headliner.

savison woods
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Bad Bunny fever has reached Coachella, and there’s no going back.

The enigmatic Puerto Rican superstar transcended music in a historic two-hour performance that stretched from Friday night into Saturday morning as the first Latino solo artist headliner in the history of the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival.

By the concert’s end at 1:30 a.m. local time Saturday, Bad Bunny had brought out four special guests — Post Malone, Jhayco plus Ñengo Flow and Jowell & Randy for “Safaera.” He played music from three albums and overcame technical difficulties when Malone’s mic unexpectedly cut out.

In classic Bad Bunny fashion, the Grammy-winning artist, born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, led the audience through a gamut of emotions, dances, ballads about heartbreak and tales of bouncing back from lost love. All the while, he made the show personal. With set designs, multiple outfits and song choices centered around the streets of Puerto Rico, the concert was an allusion to his journey from an austere Puerto Rican neighborhood to the highest echelons of California celebrity.

Bad Bunny speaks on the significance of his Coachella performance
He kicked off his set acknowledging the history of his performance with a narrated intro and video montage that paid homage to previous festival headliners. In a later montage, he acknowledged Puerto Rican reggaeton stars that came before him. And, he spoke about breaking boundaries “for the first time in more than 20 years” in the Coachella Valley.

“Nunca antes hubo uno como yo,“ he said. In English, the quote translates to “Never before has there been someone like me. Un Benito.”

He opened with 2022 smash hit “Tití Me Preguntó,” and shortly after addressed the audience in English. “How you doing tonight, Coachella? What do you prefer, me talking in Spanish or hablando Español?”

“Español” was the overwhelming answer from a crowd with a smattering of Puerto Rican flags.

He entered dancing on a suspended stage wearing a colorful puffy jacket, cornrows and multiple chains around his neck.

Bad Bunny’s Coachella set fluctuated emotions
The set called back to the gas station rooftop he performed from during an impromptu street concert in Puerto Rico in December.

A swarm of backup dancers in tracksuits designed to look like the Puerto Rican flag performed beneath him.

He deftly switched to a mellower gear with “Moscow Mule,” the first song on his 2022 Grammy Album of the Year nominee “Un Verano Sin Ti.”

And, from there, he teased his hit “Yo Perreo Sola” from his 2020 album YHLQMDLG, but didn’t play the song in full until much later.

The emotional rollercoaster continued as he jumped from a heartfelt performance of ballad “Si Estuviésemos Juntos” to an upbeat remix of “Te Boté.” Like so many of his songs, the transition epitomized one of Bad Bunny’s signature themes — going through rough romantic breakups and bouncing back stronger.

Later, he left the platform to kick off a stretch of hits from 2020 — a year he released three albums and, for the first time, became Spotify’s most-streamed artist in the world.

Bad Bunny, Post Malone experience mic issues mid-concert
Malone popped on stage for surprise acoustic guitar renditions of “La Canción” and “Yonaguni.” Malone and Bad Bunny don’t have any music collaborations but appeared to be good friends on stage as they performed Bad Bunny’s hits, before Malone’s microphone cut out.

When the tech failed, the crowd stepped up. Thousands of fans filled awkward gaps singing a capella, reinforcing that Bad Bunny drew a more diverse and multilingual group to Coachella than ever before.After that mellow moment, the night resumed with gusto and fireworks. Guest Jhayco stayed for hit songs “Dákiti,” “No Me Conoce” and “Tarot.”

Bad Bunny brought the crowd home with “Callaita” and another round of pyrotechnics as he belted “Después de la Playa,” one of the biggest hits of summer 2022 — and, now, Coachella 2023.

Source: Desert Sun

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