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Bad Bunny Debuts New Album at Massive Listening Party in Puerto Rico

today10/13/2023

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Can an album listening party with 16,000 guests feel cozy? Special? Evidently, yes. Bad Bunny made that happen on Thursday (Oct. 12) as he debuted his new LP, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana. 

Held at the iconic Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot (aka El Choli) in San Juan, the event’s itinerary was a mystery when announced. Would Bad Bunny show up? Or would fans simply hear the album track by track without him? Nobody knew. Still, tickets sold out within two hours of going on sale. 

Expectations were varied among the concertgoers, many of whom were giving Renaissance vibes in cowboy hats and boots and sparkly fringe tops and skirts. (Of course, Bad Bunny’s new signature, the blue L.A. Dodgers hat, was seen throughout the crowd, too.) Some fans were just happy to hear the album among friends and with top-notch sound. However, others hoped for more.

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“Espero que Bad Bunny salga — en un caballo (I hope Bad Bunny comes out on a horse),” Dariana Cruz, 33, joked to Billboard. “He doesn’t have to sing, but he should come out at least.”

Cruz didn’t get her wish of him coming out on a horse, but Bad Bunny did show up — and in spectacular fashion. In the center of the arena floor, surrounded by clamoring fans, a souped-up vintage Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow — the same car used in the video for “Where She Goes” and in his 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards performance — slowly lowered from the ceiling. Fans screamed. Bad Bunny was in the driver’s seat. 

Encircling the car below were a dozen or so dancers, all of them clad in black with faces totally covered by something akin to a balaclava, but with eyes sealed for an alien-like look. Bad Bunny wore the same, with a checkered handkerchief resting atop his head. 

The album kicked off with tracks playing in chronological order, beginning with “Nadie Sabe.” El Conejo nodded along subtly, matching the pensive tone of the song, in which he reflects on his trajectory. He started making music as a young teen 10 years ago, and today he’s almost 30, with five full-length albums and heaps of EPs and singles. In the song, Bad Bunny seems to grapple with his continuously spiking celebrity and the corresponding loneliness it apparently brings. 

That first number was crucial in setting the tone for the night. This is how Bad Bunny made thousands feel close to him, despite being some 20-feet above them in a luxury car 99% of his fans could never afford. There were moments during “Nadie Sabe,” and again throughout the night, when he seemed to look to the crowd, to truly look for individual faces, in search of feedback or approval.

Positive reactions from fans garnered gratitude from Bad Bunny in the form of prayer hands and a heartfelt head bow.

The energy ramped up as the night progressed, with trap-heavy tracks (he gave the people what they wanted) and perreo-ready jams. A surprising number, though, was the patiently paced “VOU 787,” which samples the wispy synth instrumentation of Madonna’s “Vogue.” 

Bad Bunny had an assist from a handful of album guests who climbed up into tiered rows on a giant hay-covered VIP area, situated in a corner of the venue floor. In attendance was Young Miko, Feid, Bryant Meyers, Arcángel and Tainy. Altogether, some 50 extra-special guests stood and danced on the Western-style edifice. 

Bad Bunny eschewed the mask a few songs in, and the suited singer began to dance outside the car. Little by little, the vehicle was lowering, and eventually, he hopped off the platform and headed into the crowd. He signed his signature sneakers, the shoes folks had waited in line for hours ahead of the show to buy. One concertgoer didn’t seem to have a marker at the ready, and Bad Bunny instead decorated the top of the shoe with a burgundy lip gloss that was handed to him. 

Bad Bunny then made his way into the VIP section. Unhurried, he greeted every single person in its six rows. Yet somehow, Bad Bunny maintained a certain choreography to his rounds, reaching several collaborators just as their songs began to play. To the crowd’s audible delight, he sang side-by-side with Feid for his feature “Perro Negro” and Arcángel’s “Acho PR.” 

The previously released “Un Preview” — dropped late in September as an album teaser, as the name implies — is the final track on Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, and as such, it capped the night. But Bad Bunny wasn’t finished surprising fans: Rather than simply play the song, he performed it. 

Bad Bunny sang from the VIP area, his collaborators and friends rooting him on. But he made his way down the makeshift haystack, closer to fans, who sang-screamed the lyrics back to him as they danced. Blasts of fog shot up around Benito as he thumped his fist to his chest and declared, “Puerto Rico, los quiero, puñeta.”

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