Residente to Kick Off U.S. Tour After Sold-Out European Trek

Frank Hoensch/Redferns
Residente performs live on stage during a concert at the Huxleys on June 30, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. 

Between songs from his solo album and Calle 13 hits, René Pérez warned of equating statistics with success: “I don’t look at numbers, I feel souls.”

At his Barcelona concert last week, Residente performed songs from his DNA – inspired 2017 album, and indulged the audience in Calle 13 favorites with new arrangements that reflected the diverse make-up of the multinational band that has accompanied him on his new solo career.

The venue, Barcelona’s outdoor, ersatz Spanish village Poble Espanyol, had been one of the stops on Calle 13’s 2015 European tour, their last before Residente (René Pérez) and Visitante (Eduardo Cabra) went their separate ways. That concert was sold out, and again, both Barcelona residents and visitors happily packed together on a summer night for Pérez’s July 19 show.

As was expected and welcomed, Pérez intro-ed the songs with insightful commentary on subjects including immigration to independence (Puerto Rican and Catalan), Latin American unity and bad presidents. Over the last 15 years, Pérez's frequent public pronouncements have evolved from rebellious rants to consciousness-raising missives he delivers with daring sincerity. In Barcelona, it was no surprise when he brought undocumented immigrants and representatives of local social organizations onstage, and that his friend Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, was spotted dancing in the audience.

Pérez also expressed his uneasiness about the music industry’s current dependence on social media numbers as a measure of success. Onstage, he made a reference to “idiots with followers on Instagram,” encouraged the audience not to fear “doing something different” and backstage, further expounded on that subject, noting that he would have more to say about it publicly.

“My thing is not to try to project myself as just another number within the statistics, my thing is to rhyme together with the honesty that connects those souls who fill my concerts with energy,” he wrote in Spanish on Twitter the next day. “Souls are not figures because souls cannot be bought.” The Tweet was accompanied by a video from the concert by the Puerto Rican production house World Junkies, who have been documenting his tour.

A few days later, he urged the crowd at a concert in Cadiz, in Southern Spain, to put their phones in their pockets and hug each other instead of engaging with their devices.

Expect to hear more critiques of the technological undertow and calls for human connection from Residente when he kicks off a new U.S. leg of his tour Aug. 25 in Miami. Here are all of the East and West coast dates:


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