There’s a reason J Balvin’s final stop on his Vibras Tour was Miami. It’s not because of the authentic Colombian food the Magic City offers. It’s not because of the spicy mamis and hot tamales his music raves about. It’s because Miami treats a reggaeton concert the same way it would a raucous night at El Patio, making this city the ultimate party stop. Guests dressed as if going to the club, but once they hiked up the stairs to the American Airlines Arena, they found themselves in a dinosaur-themed fun park where overgrown iguanas ran rampant.
The concert began late, like many Latin music events in Miami. “Isn’t the show supposed to start at 8?” a fan said to a bartender as she snatched a cocktail. “It’s a reggaeton concert — what do you expect?” he snapped back.
Meanwhile, onstage and in the pit, the arena had been transformed into Jurassic Park. “Vibras” was spelled out in red and white in a box logo on a white curtain, where shadows of dinosaurs danced across the screen while roars emanated from backstage.
Around 9:15 p.m, the arena went black. It was showtime. An informational video starring J Balvin gave attendees a tour of the Vibras Fun Park. Rules included “Clap your hands” and “Shake your ass,” but it was apparent concertgoers already knew how to act when their favorite singer hit the stage. The white curtain dropped to give screaming fans what they wanted: J Balvin, plus a dinosaur. The familiar “bumm bumm bumm” of an air horn echoed through the darkness as the Colombian singer appeared from the shadows dressed in black with neon-green hair.
A huge inflatable red Tyrannosaurus rex took center stage while two yellow velociraptors shimmied on either side of J Balvin as he performed “Machika” with Brazilian singer Anitta. It wasn’t clear who was more excited to see the fans — the dinosaurs or J Balvin — but they competed for the crowd’s attention. By the second song, the red T. rex seemed tired, but that didn’t stop J Balvin from sticking his head inside the inflatable toy’s mouth as he proceeded with “Cuando Tú Quieras,” his second single.
“¡Arriba, Miami!” he yelled into the mike so the nearly sold-out arena would put its hands up. A fan standing toward the front couldn’t throw her hands and her Colombian flag up at the same time, so she held it over her face and jumped up and down in hopes J Balvin would notice his country represented in the audience. The crowd was filled with Spanish-speaking mamis wearing hip-hugger jeans, giant gold hoop earrings, and slicked-down baby hairs. The few gringos in the audience swayed to the beat, not needing to understand a word being said to have a good time.
It wouldn’t be a reggaeton concert without special guests. Nicky Jam ran from backstage to join J Balvin for their hit single, “X,” and fans lost their minds. After the two Latin singers engaged in a short pelvic-thrust contest, Nicky thanked the crowd and exited. Then, during J Balvin’s performance of “Ahora,” the chemistry between two attendees grew so intense they began making out. They quickly stopped when a security guard blared his flashlight on them right before Zion & Lennox made an appearance for their single “Otra Vez.”
“¿Estás sintiendo la vibras esta noche?” J Balvin asked the crowd as the arena went dark for a set change. The band played in the background as a mini light show kept concertgoers occupied. The show quickly turned to center stage as J Balvin appeared on a riser with Anitta for a quick performance of their single “Downtown.” Clad in black lingerie, she sat in a chair and did a strip tease, giving the men in the audience something to drool over. It seemed fans couldn’t get any more excited, but they did when Bad Bunny appeared to help J Balvin perform the single “Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola.” The two leading Latin-trap artists gave the millennials in the audience everything they wanted. J Balvin went on to perform Cardi B’s “I Like It” without Bad Bunny — a smart decision, because without Cardi there, their rendition wouldn’t have done the original justice.
J Balvin finished his lineup of legendary special guests with Wisin y Yandel, a staple duo on any reggaeton lover’s playlist, with performances of “Peligrosa” and “Como Antes.” Just when fans thought they’d had enough, J Balvin couldn’t leave without performing “Mi Gente.” The stage transformed into one last dinosaur-themed set, complete with a colossal unhatched egg, as the performer gave his all while fireworks blazed and confetti rained down. His last stop on the Vibras Tour was nothing short of a dazzling walk through Jurassic Park, a history lesson in reggaeton, and a Spanish lesson for new lovers of Latin trap.
- “Machika” (with Anitta)
- “Cuando Tú Quieras”
- “Bum Bum Tam Tam”
- “Ahora Dice”
- “No Es Justo”
- “Otra Vez”
- “Downtown” (with Anitta)
- “Si Tu Novio te Deja Sola”
- “Quiero Repetir”
- “I Like It”
- “Como Antes”
- “Ay Vamos”
- “Mi Gente”