Northeast Latinos migrate to Philly and spend time with Bad Bunny
Crowds gathered for hours in anticipation of the Puerto Rican global sensation, and had high hopes for his set. And when Bad Bunny promises, he delivers.
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Amid a U.S. national tour, Bad Bunny made a quick stop in Philadelphia to perform at Made in America, the city’s biggest musical festival with national draw, where fans from across the Northeast commuted to watch Bad Bunny’s tour de force performance of new hits, classics and immortalized beats.
AL DÍA spoke to fans before and after the show to gauge fan expectations, and responses varied.
Two festival attendees traveled from Brooklyn, New York, early in the day to see the show.
“I’ve been to Philly for Made in America like four years ago, and Bad Bunny was coming so, definitely had to be here,” they said.
When asked about the setlist, both Brooklynites hyped up Un Verano Sin Ti, Bad Bunny’s Summer album, now a ubiquitous playlist for tropicana reggaetón. A Summer solstice on the beach to marvel at heart break.
The New York tourists were also hopeful for a “Tití me preguntó” performance, a song he recently performed at MTV’s 2022 Video Music Awards prior to accepting a landmark award for Artist of the Year.
As evening performances settled, crowds swarmed MIA’s Rocky Stage while American rapper Don Toliver wrapped up his own gig, pumping up the audience for Bad Bunny’s long awaited appearance, the last in a fierce lineup of notable rappers.
Among the throng, three girls cloaked in Puerto Rican flags settled into a space fit for three snuggled between groups who settled into the west side of the stage. Siani, Melanie and Krystal are North Philly natives.
When asked if they were a part of North Philly’s historic Puerto Rican community, they answered in unison: “Yes!”
One of them told AL DÍA she traveled from Florida to see the performance, even though she had just been in a March performance in a previous tour.
“He’s like an icon for the Puerto Rican community, so it means a lot,” the festival goer said.
They expected a mix of his repertoire, with one calling for a medley. Turns out, Bad Bunny was listening, given his 22+ song setlist spanning his entire career.
“¡Benito, Benito, Benito!” the crowd chanted as the hour drew closer. Other fans came from Washington on a day trip, and said they would never miss a chance to see San Benito onstage, singing modern day anthems.
When the clock struck 9:45 p.m., a silhouette enveloped in shadows could be seen on the stage, marauding for a spot. It didn’t take long for the audience to realize before a roar echoed through the Parkway as people realized he had been there the entire time.
Soon after, “Moscow Mule” trumpeted through the amps while Bad Bunny manifested the first verse: Si yo no te escribo, tú no me escribes. The song continued while a warm, orange light hugged the performer, the stage engulfed in smoke. A trip to the beach to marvel at heart break.
Following the concert, concert goers were tired, voiceless but glowing.
“That was incredible. It’s everything I wanted from the set,” one said before running to her beckoning group of friends.
“The medley build up was insane. I thought [it would] just be the new songs but the medley was lit,” another said.
Bad Bunny’s short stint in Philly was anything but. As expected, he leaves a ringing, arresting effect.
Philadelphia sleeps content tonight.