Towards the end of his frantic show at Fenway Park on Thursday night, Puerto Rican megastar Bad Bunny took a brief trip. He hopped onto a small island — its base shrouded in neon lights, its top adorned with a single fake palm tree — and began singing the anti-love song “Un Coco,” from his recent hit album, “Un Verano. Sin Ti Island flew away and Bad Bunny, born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, soared with it, traveling to the back of the stadium for his fans in the Fenway rafters to get a closer look at him.
Bad Bunny has been one of pop’s biggest personalities since his breakthrough with 2016’s single “Soy Peor.” Over the years, the singer-songwriter’s audience has grown as his palette has grown. music has expanded. He kept the beat-heavy rap/reggaeton fusion known as Latin Trap at the heart of his sound and his homeland of Puerto Rico at the center of his universe. But Thursday night, his set showed off his decidedly kaleidoscopic approach to the genre, swirling through dreampop, hard rock, acoustic pop and salsa – and a host of other musical styles – before ending with the ecstatic breakdown of the Merengue from “Después de la Playa.”
“Un Verano Sin Ti” (which translates to “A Summer Without You”) has topped music streaming service charts since its release in May. In an interview that month with The New York Times, Bad Bunny called his collection of 23 politically sharp, genre-fusing songs “a record to play in the summer, on the beach, as a playlist.” He put that idea into practice on Thursday, performing on a palm-studded beach surrounded by video walls; the show opened with him pulling out a cooler and settling into a beach chair, a microphone carrying the sad, one-eyed heart of the cover of “Verano” in his hand. Once he launched into “Moscow Mule,” a heart-pounding come-on backed by an insistent beat, Bad Bunny didn’t let go for the next two hours, with splashing fireworks, screens breathtaking video and a jubilant beach. dancers accompanying “Verano” tracks like the undulating “Party” and the percussive, anti-privatization of power, “El Apagon”, as well as older tracks like the expansive “Vuelve”.
Bad Bunny’s current stadium jaunt, known as the ‘World’s Hottest Tour’, is his second full-scale tour of 2022 – in March he stopped at the TD Garden during ‘El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo “, which featured a completely different setlist. Thursday’s show showed why he was able to pull off such a feat, with his undeniable charm, dazzling direction and ever-changing songwriting combining for a show that seemed bigger than even Fenway’s ability.
With Alesso. At Fenway Park, Friday.