Bad Bunny’s First NYC Show From His “Most Wanted Tour” Is Proof His Latine Fans Still Come First

When I first learned that Bad Bunny’s sold-out Most Wanted Tour included three back-to-back shows in NYC, including one at the Barclays Center that lands on my birthday, Apr. 11, it all seemed meant to be. The concert would occur three days after a highly anticipated solar eclipse, a new moon, and all during a Mercury retrograde. It would also happen during Aries season – the beginning of the astrological year and a time for new beginnings. While I had high expectations for Benito’s performance and his first NYC show from the tour, one thing that stood out most is how the Puerto Rican artist continues to appreciate and celebrate his loyal Latine fans.

Bad Bunny is the most-streamed artist on the planet. This fun fact never loses its significance for loyal Latine fans who have witnessed the struggle of Latin music to get the respect and support it deserves here in the States. The Puerto Rican artist put on a hell of a performance at the Barclays Center on Apr. 11. Looking around an arena with a 19,000-person capacity, there wasn’t a single empty seat in sight, at least not within my view. It was a packed house of what appeared to be a mostly Latine crowd ranging in age and ethnicity.

There was his usual fan base – Dominican and Puerto Ricans standing in the long lines outside of the stadium with their flags tied around their necks and flowing from their backs. Even with the cold, rainy weather, everyone on those lines was decked out in Bad Bunny merch and ready to celebrate the artist. These same folks were the first to jump up and wave their flags whenever Bad Bunny made mention of his Latine fans and supporters. There were also many Latines of Central and South American descent rocking their flags and holding up signs expressing their love for the singer. Although he’s gone global, especially since the success of his 2022 record-breaking album “Un Verano Sin Ti,” Latines still appear to make up most of Bad Bunny’s concert-attending fans, from how things appeared on Thursday night.

Regardless of how many awards he’s taken home or how many records he’s broken, Bad Bunny hasn’t lost sight of the folks that have supported his music since his early days on SoundCloud before non-Latines had any clue who el conejo malo was. He has proven that whenever he’s apologetically spoken in Spanish during an interview or at an award show. He’s proven that in the way he has continued to elevate the genre, paying his respect to OGs like Daddy Yankee, Residente, and Tego Calderon and giving his stamp of approval to rising Puerto Rican artists like Young Miko, Rainao, and Villano Antillano.

I’ve seen Bad Bunny live in NYC twice, first in 2019 at the Barclays Center and then again at Yankee Stadium for his 2022 World’s Hottest tour. At all his concerts, Benito only spoke Spanish and almost exclusively addressed his Latine fans. In many ways, like with many Latin music artists today, attending a Bad Bunny concert feels like you’re exclusively a part of his crew or fan club. It doesn’t matter that he’s gone global – he’s still only speaking Spanish and shouting out Latines.

“New York has been very important in my career, where dreams come true,” he told fans in Spanish. Being on the tour feels really amazing. Going to each place and seeing it, all the cities, but New York, it’s something else. It feels more amazing than usual. Seeing all those PR and DR flags makes it even more special. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being here; it means a lot to me.”

The artist had a lot of emotional moments throughout the performance, where he would stare at a packed stadium filled with excited fans in complete awe and then with teary eyes right before giving his heartwarming speech to Latine fans. In many ways, Bad Bunny’s latest album, “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana,” paid homage to Puerto Rico and his Latine fans. It acknowledged that regardless of the fame and success that followed with “Un Verano Sin Ti,” he hasn’t forgotten where he’s come from and who his number-one fans are. The concert was very reflective of that sentiment, with half of the songs on the setlist being straight from “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana” and the later half of the show including older tracks, a guest performance by Bryant Meyer and tracks from “Un Verano Sin Ti” including his hit track “Titi Me Pregunto.” The production at this show was also top-notch, with an orchestra that opened up the show and reappeared throughout, Benito playing “Amorforda” on the piano upside down, a cool jig-saw bridge in the middle of the stadium room, and the artist evening riding into the stadium on a real-life horse looking like a ranchero meets lucha libre.

Bad Bunny went all out for us from start to end, delivering an almost three-hour-long performance filled with so much attention to detail and deeply rooted love and appreciation for his Latine fans. The Latine community is a beautiful one. When we love – we love hard. When we support – we show up in numbers. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were full families in that crowd. But we’re also the quickest to criticize our own idols whenever they reach a certain level of fame. And while Bad Bunny has certainly reached a level of fame where he can probably get away with performing for less than two hours without all the cool production effects. He still put in the love he’s had for his craft and his Latine fans since the beginning, and he still let us know that he wouldn’t be here without us, and that is something I don’t think he’ll ever stop doing, regardless of how far he may go in his career.