At exactly 10:15 PM on Saturday night, Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal in Santo Domingo erupted in cheers when the PA system blasted the familiar ukulele riffs of Bad Bunny’s “Ni Bien Ni Mal’s” intro. This was the beginning of a historic night for Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio a.ka. Bad Bunny, and the record crowd of 30,000 adoring fans that defied the intense humidity and intermittent rain mist to revel in all things Benito Martinez.
Benito’s concert took place in what could almost be considered his second home, taking into account the early support of his music career by local hometown heroes El Alfa, Mark B, Quimico Ultramega, Poeta Callejero and Santiago Matias Alofoke; who’s got some explaining to do about his concert outfit. The vibe on Saturday could only be rivaled by the opening night of his series of homecoming concerts at El Choliseo in early March.
The crowd in attendance sang along fervently through the repertoire of new songs and classics from his young career, and from time to time I would even turn around to tell my friends that it was hard for me to keep up with all the hits.
The highlight of the concert was a heartfelt tribute to former baseball star Big Papi, who’s recovering from a gun shot wound sustained last week. Seconds after the end of “Amorfoda,” the screens went blank, followed by a caption that read “Un Heroe Dentro y Fuera del Parque.” Then there was a video highlighting some of Big Papi’s accomplishment in and out of the field, accompanied Fernando Villalona’s classic “Dominicano Soy” in the background. This tribute could not have come at a better time – when Dominicans are resiliently keeping their heads up despite a series of unfortunate events sometimes sensationalized by local media affecting the island’s image abroad.
“Benito wanted to pay tribute in his homeland to David Ortiz, one of his idols, and join in the sense of pride that our Dominican brothers feel for the great national hero that is Big Papi; who through his achievements in sports and human quality has always pursued the welfare of his Country,” said representatives of Rimas Entertainment and Buena Vibra, who are associated the singer. “On the night of the concert, all of us present witnessed the strength of a united country, proud of its roots, eager for the speedy recovery of one of its most important national and international figures,” they added.
With thousands of people in tears of joy, the action on stage continued with special appearance by Arcangel, Lunay and the fastest dembowsero on earth, El Alfa – with El Nene La Amenzzy opening the concert, giving us a glimpse of his career’s potential.
Enjoy this brief recap courtesy of ghplive below and check out Bad Bunny upcoming concert dates here.