Maluma was emotional from the very beginning during his hometown show in Medellin, Colombia. The reggaeton/pop star opened the concert on Saturday (April 30) at Atanasio Girardot stadium with “Hawái,” and then dropped to his knees and covered his face midway through when the crowd of 54,000 sang it back to him. It was just the beginning of an emotional and star-studded show –including Madonna and Grupo Firme — that marks a milestone in Maluma’s career.
Fans had been waiting for this highly-anticipated show, billed as Medallo en el Mapa (Medellín on the Map), since it was announced in November. But Maluma (real name: Juan Luis Londoño Arias) told the audience he had been waiting for this night since he began his career 11 years ago. Atanasio Girardot is the biggest venue in Medellin, and selling out the soccer stadium is a feat only the top artists have accomplished.
“Thank you for making my dream a reality,” said Maluma, who sported a pink jacket and pants that matched his bleached pink hair with a red heart shaved into it. “More than anything, it’s very important for me that my hometown loves me. If my hometown loves me, I could care less if everyone else loves me.”
Maluma had said in the weeks leading up to the concert — which aired live on Amazon Prime and Amazon Music’s Twitch channel — that he wanted the show to be a celebration of Medellin. And Papi Juancho backed it up, delivering a three-hour love letter to Medallo from one of its favorite sons.
Here are the highlights from a night heavy on spectacle, hometown pride, and surprise guests.
Welcome to Medellin
The intro video that opened the concert around 10 p.m. set the tone for the show with its parade of celebs talking about Medellin. Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon kicked things off by saying “Medellin es alegria,” followed by Shakira, who said, “Medellin es cultura.” Also among the celebs who took part in the video were J Balvin and Jennifer Lopez.
Friends Supporting Friends
The first surprise guest of the night was Feid, who performed a pair of songs with Maluma, including their latest single, “Mojando Asientos.” “He’s been working in the industry longer than I have,” Maluma said of Feid. “And I think it’s cool everything that’s happened to you. I’ve always told you I’m your fan.” Fellow Medellin native Wolfine was the next surprise guest. He performed his catchy “Bella” remix with Maluma, who was now wearing a black tactical vest. Although he wasn’t one of the biggest names to take the stage on Saturday, Wolfine’s energetic solo performance of “Escápate Conmigo” received one of the loudest reactions of the night.
Maluma returned after the brief break provided by Wolfine with up-and-comer Blessd and duo Kapla y Miky, all of whom rode four-wheelers to the 360 stage. The foursome from Medellin performed their song “L.N.E.M. (Gata).” Afterward, Maluma and Blessd — who the star has taken under his wing — performed their remix to “Imposible.” “This guy right here… has done things for me that nobody has done,” Blessd said about Maluma. “I love you.”
Maluma Goes Aerial
You just knew Maluma would pull off some sort of stunt on Saturday. During his performance of “Borro Cassette,” he bravely stood high above the ground on a small platform and was lowered onto the balcony level. On his walk back to the stage through the crowd, he grabbed cameras and took selfies.
Reggaeton took a momentary backseat to regional Mexican music when the many members of Grupo Firme hopped to the stage with instruments in hand. Maluma and the Mexican band sang their song “Cada Quien” and afterward performed Grupo Firme’s “Ya Supérame.” They later toasted with aguardiente, the Colombian alcohol of choice, which made Maluma cringe and toss his booze. When Pipe Bueno joined the party to cover Vicente Fernandez’s “El Rey,” Grupo Firme called for another toast, which Maluma opted to sit out.
‘Material Girl’ in Medallo
The rumored Madonna surprise that had been circulating around Medellin turned out to be more than just a rumor. Wearing a pink dress and sporting braids, the “Material Girl” joined a giddy Maluma at the end to sing — what else? — “Medellin.” “Thank you, Medellin. So good to be back,” said Madonna, who performed in that very same stadium in 2012. The pop icon sang her hit song “Music” next while bouncing around the stage and repeatedly grinding on Papi Juancho. Maluma said not that long ago that he would only invite Medellin artists to perform at the show, but nobody seemed to mind that he made a few exceptions.