With no opening act needed, the sold-out crowd at Los Angeles’ The Forum flooded the concessions and merchandise stands sporting their best “Maluma Baby” T-shirts and logoed hats. Latin music’s biggest heartthrob and indomitable force Maluma kicked off the two-hour sensual affair with an introductory mashup that parlayed into his recent smash “Corazón,” as well as “Hablar Conmigo” from 2015’s Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy.
The 24-year-old then took a moment to soak in the roaring crowd’s energy, incited by taking off his shades and showcasing that swoon-worthy “pretty boy” smile. The enduring chant from the crowd prompted the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards nominee to shout, “I fucking love you!”
While Maluma brought out special guests, including Ricky Martin for their collaboration “Vente Pa’ Ca” and Prince Royce for a special remix of the Dominican star’s new single “El Clavo” during his first LA stop on Saturday, the crooner ventured solo on the Martin-assisted track on Wednesday night. However, after much speculation from the audience as to who would surprise during his return, Maluma introduced Becky G for an extended sing-along of her breakout hit “Mayores.”
As if every lady (and some gents) weren’t already oozing over Maluma’s talent, physique and swagger, he had his backup dancers select one fawning woman from the crowd to be serenaded while he sat on her lap and sang “El Perdedor.” The intimacy continued as he stood perched above the crowd on a riser that hovered across the arena for a needed breather as he poured out his heart on “Tengo Un Amor.”
After the tender moment, a sequence of his chart goliaths like “El Prestamo,” “Borro Cassette” and “Chantaje” followed, with the crowd standing on their feet and dancing in the aisles for the rest of the show. Maluma’s suave dance moves and classic slow spin was reminiscent of icons like Chayanne and Ricky Martin.
After a brief blackout onstage for what appeared to be the close of the concert, the crowd knew better and chanted for an encore. Maluma delivered with a three-song finale that began with the tantalizing “Felices Los 4” followed by his collaborations “GPS” alongside French Montana and “Trap” featuring Shakira.
While Maluma’s presence in the industry has seemingly erupted overnight, the bona fide superstar possesses all the stage appeal and showmanship that places him in the ranks of his legendary predecessors. Be it “las mujeres solteras” (single ladies), jealous boyfriends or generations of families, Maluma’s high-octane F.A.M.E. Tour embodies the spirit, passion, fire and prosperity of the Latino community while inspiring new crowds — no matter language or culture — to live life out loud.