Juanes’ journey through the musical universe
The Colombian superstar shares his new visual album as well as his classics to a sold-out crowd in Philadelphia.
It’s been four years since Colombian rockstar Juanes graced fans with his concert in Atlantic City. While away, his touring schedule, as well as several other projects, kept the Medellin native busy through the years.
After hiatus from music for a couple years to reconnect with his own life and family, he came back in 2017 with his visual album titled “Mis Planes Son Amarte.” In the video, Juanes portrays an archeologist and astronaut in a quest for an eternal love that parallels his journey in discovering himself. (Juanes discusses the visual album here.)
His tour came to the Fillmore in Philadelphia on April 24 bringing a mixture of new sounds as well as a collection of his classic songs. The line of fans, mainly from Colombia, wrapped around the block waiting with anticipation to see the superstar perform. Many came showing their pride by wearing either soccer jerseys, a sombrero vueltiao, or wrapping their bodies with the Colombian flag.
Walking into the hall prior to the concert, you could see the band on stage performing a sound check while Juanes listened to every note within the darkness surrounding the soundboard on the opposite side of the hall. Then he headed to the stage to join in for the rehearsal. After practicing a couple of songs, Juanes took control of the drums and played an impromptu version of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” It was like taking a step back in time to when he was a part of the former heavy metal group Ekhymosis.
Just about a half hour before showtime, a group of thirty fans lined up as part of a meet-and-greet with Juanes sponsored by a local radio station, each one waiting for their chance to walk through the curtain and see the guitarist. Once they returned, tears of joy and smiles beamed from each person’s face.
Finally, the lights dimmed and the fog rolled in while his video album intro began to play on the screen. Chants of “Juanes! Juanes!” filled the venue until he came out to play his first song, “A Dios Le Pido”. The crowd erupted with cheers and began to sing along with every word of the song, as well as many others within his vast catalog of hits throughout the hour and a half concert.
Most of his songs had a fusion of many different musical elements, such as Cumbia, Vallenato, and even some Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Fans got a treat with an acoustic version of “Fotografia,” a little taste of old 1950’s Doo-Wop with “Pero Viejo” and a reggae feel from “Es Tarde.” Juanes’ frequent experimenting and reinventing of different genres of music helped him win this year’s Latin Grammy for Best Pop/Rock Album.
Walking off the stage after his performance, the crowd wanted more. After a couple minutes of “Otra! Otra!”, he returned for a couple more songs and ended the night with a shower of confetti to rival any New Year’s Eve party while playing the song “La Luz.”
As a true entertainer, Juanes interacted with the crowd and for a couple of hours, washed away all the real world struggles we face in life and gave his fans a party no one would forget. His interaction with the audience was something very personal. His theme during the evening, as well as throughout his career, is that we all live in this one world and must treat everything and everyone in it with care, respect, and love.