Bad Bunny draws 50,000 to the Alamodome

Latin music sensation’s sold-out concert recap

Cesar Soto, Contributing Writer

Continuing the biggest year of his career to date, Latin music sensation Bad Bunny brought his record-breaking “World’s Hottest Tour” to San Antonio, drawing in a sold-out audience of over 50,000 to the Alamodome. The entire stadium was left shaking and dancing “perreo” for hours on end all into the night.

Before the doors even opened, it was already certain that the energy inside was going to be unlike anything San Antonio had ever seen before. Being one of the biggest shows the city has ever hosted, merchandise had gone on presale the day before — and sold out in hours. 

The city posted traffic warnings and even provided VIA bus services specifically for the event, all in anticipation of what the crowd was going to bring. With Bad Bunny coming to the Alamo City, the world’s most passionate fan base showed up in droves, bringing along their beach attire and all the excitement in the world in the process.

Before Bad Bunny took the stage, Diplo was featured as the night’s opening act. The Los Angeles-based DJ, who made his first appearance in San Antonio this year, entered the stage with a Spurs tee on and the 20th Century Fox intro blaring over the speakers, as he made his presence known by playing exactly what the crowd was clamoring for as they filed into the stadium. 

Utilizing Bad Bunny’s beachy stage setup behind him, he played perfectly into the summer reggaeton vibes of the night, heavily featuring both classic and modern tracks of the genre in his  set. Although it was appreciated that he started off with those Latin vibes for the night, it would have been nice to see him incorporate his own tracks into his set, as his long career as a producer has seen him work with many talented artists over the years, including Bad Bunny himself on the track “200 MPH.” Unfortunately, rather than one of the world’s most renowned DJs playing a stadium set, it occasionally felt more like a traditional Latin night set at a club. 

Cesar Soto

Another aspect that also negatively impacted the set were the stadium lights being left on for a good part of his set, obviously something that is not the fault of the performer but rather the venue. Nevertheless, he did add his own spin to things, featuring a variety of light and smoke effects, as well as flashing distinct types of graphics featuring Diplo’s name all over the screen. The crowd responded to his energy by dancing in their seats to all the reggaeton hits played.

When the lights went out and Bentio Antonio Martínez Ocasio himself appeared on stage, the Alamodome instantly transformed from a regular stadium into the loudest, hottest and most electrifying party on Earth. With the Puerto Rican artist being the biggest in the world right now, making his first stop in San Antonio in three years was bound to ignite the crowd. He had no trouble doing so from the start, appearing on his sandy and palm tree-filled stage and lounging on a chair next to an ice cooler – just like he would do on a beach in Puerto Rico. With the intro track of his hit album “Un Verano Sin Ti,” “Moscow Mule,” serving as the opening track to launch his set off, it initially seemed as though the screams of the crowd could somehow overpower the music being played itself. As if that energetic start to his performance was not enough to get the crowd going, he soon introduced his first special guest of the night, Puerto Rican reggaeton artist and former member of the duo Plan B, Chencho Corleone, a featured artist on his smash hit, “Me Porto Bonito.” Over the course of his tour, Bad Bunny had been bringing out multiple guests, but the fans in town thought San Antonio was not the kind of city that could expect such things, and it was wonderful to be proven wrong. The excitement within the stadium increased exponentially when the track began to play, with the crowd specifically going off when the duo went acapella, having them sing along to the chorus in what was one of the night’s first unforgettable moments.

Following that, Bad Bunny and his amazing group of dancers would then continue performing more hits from his latest album, with other early highlights of the set being “Efecto” and “Tarot,” two more hard-hitting reggaeton tracks that kept the party going. After taking a few moments in between to express his gratitude for the San Antonio crowd for showing him so much love, he then transitioned into a section of the setlist that featured songs from his first few albums, such as “X100Pre” and “YHLQMDLG,” by giving the songs an Electronic Dance Movement (EDM) twist and providing fans a new way to experience these songs. Highlights of this portion of the show included one of the first instances of Bad Bunny shouting out every Latino country and making all Latino fans in the stadium feel recognized and seen, before launching into “I Like It,” his collaboration with Cardi B that became his first number one hit in the United States. His production team also expertly worked around the Alamodome’s lack of an open roof and ability to launch fireworks by giving the show the firework effects it deserved during “Si Veo a Tu Mama,” where firework effects launched off both the top of the stage and to the sides where seating was blocked off, still giving the crowd the same level of excitement as the show went on.

However, the biggest highlight of all during his throwback session is when he unexpectedly brought out his second special guest of the night, Panamanian reggaeton singer Sech, who was making his own first guest appearance on the tour to sing their collaboration track, “Ignorantes.” The shock and excitement heard in the crowd’s screams around the stadium were clearly apparent and only just brought more of a special feeling to this San Antonio tour stop. And of course, there was no other way to end this part of the show without performing “Yo Perreo Sola” and “Safaera,” two of Bad Bunny’s best and most club-banging reggaeton songs that fans clearly loved and screamed along to.

Bad Bunny then used other effects that contributed to the beachy atmosphere of his “World’s Hottest Tour” setup such as during “Dákiti,” where small inflatable dolphins began flying around the floor section of the stadium. Not to mention that throughout the entire duration of the show, over 50,000 attendees had LED bracelets lit up to sync with the songs, further strengthening the sense of community that Bad Bunny mentioned earlier in the night. On multiple occasions, he took a seat with his dancers on stage to further express his gratitude and to interact with the crowd.

With everything that has been described so far, it would seem as if the show were coming to a close but Bad Bunny had much more up his sleeve on this momentous night. He eventually moved over to a B-stage that surrounded the La Playa pit section on the floor, and suddenly went into the deeper cuts of his career, all the way back to his early SoundCloud days in 2016. These were songs he had not performed in years like “Chambea” and “Soy Peor,” the ones that launched him into stardom in the first place. The crowd here were reminded of why they fell in love with him as he played them with a completely new spirit about him.

Even though Bad Bunny had already provided the crowd with an electrifying performance thus far, he somehow found a way to take things up a notch by strapping himself onto a light-up palm tree that flew around the stadium, allowing every fan in attendance to have a closer view of the performer. The joy that exuded from the crowd was a lovely sight to see, continuing over to his performance of “Enséñame a Bailar,” where he brought a couple on stage wearing matching sun costumes that he had interacted with earlier in the show and danced along with them, bringing smiles to those in attendance.

The amount of cheerfulness that had built up in the crowd was at its peak, as the show reached its final stretch with two of Bad Bunny’s most Puerto Rican tracks ever. The first track, “El Apagón,” was the biggest party anthem of the night with the crowd jumping just as insane as the strobe lights flashing around the stadium. The final track, being his own take on the merengue genre with “Después de La Playa,” featured a live band and had the whole stadium doing classic dance moves as the incredible experience of his two-and-a-half-hour set came to a close.

The most amazing thing about this night was how personal and special it felt to the city of San Antonio, from him donning a tan fit with a Selena Quintanilla shirt underneath, bringing out exclusive guests to the show and displaying a truly deep appreciation for the passionate energy that the city showed him. It is clear how much love he has for the Latino community that has embraced him so much, and even more clear how much love they have for him, no matter whether they are Puerto Rican, Mexican or from another Latino country. That right there is the passion that is shown between him and his fans that has brought him to his current level of stardom today.