With one of the most eclectic albums in reggaeton-pop, filled with ‘1980s and ‘1990s freestyle, house, and Miami bass, Rauw Alejandro delivered an electrifying sold-out performance at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Friday (March 24).
The concert, part of his Saturno World Tour, began with hype from the get-go. Earlier in the day, the Puerto Rican hitmaker dropped his joint EP, RR, with new fiance Rosalía. Friday’s show marked the first time fans would see another shade of the performer rock out jams from his experimental reggaeton-pop 2022 album, Saturno.
At 9:00 p.m. ET, a woman’s voice on the speakers queued the audience to prepare for take-off, and the arena began bumping ’90s golden era of dance music like “Pump Up the Jam” by Technotronic and “Rhythm Is a Passion” by SNAP! They also embraced old school reggaeton from legends like Wisin y Yandel’s “Rakatá” and Daddy Yankee’s “Machete,” including “P FNK R” by Bad Bunny — giving concert-goers a taste of the vibe of what was to come.
Alejandro’s space odyssey opened up with none other than “Saturno,” the freestyle-driven party jam that instantly invigorated the scene with acrobatic dancers flipping across the stage. Then, from the center view, all lights focused on our dance-reggaeton voyager Alejandro, as he elevated slowly to meet his thousands of screaming fans surrounding the stage.
Rocking a silver metallic trench coat and pants combo, with alien-like sunglasses that held over his head, the song transitioned to the hard-hitting “Punto 40,” where the superstar showcased moves for days, joining his dance crew with fancy footwork, bumpin’ and grinding and plenty of throwback styles. A bevy of attendees also set the intergalactic vibe, donning Matrix-like costumes, alien-antenna headbands, and some in full-blown extraterrestrial costumes. This was his eleventh gig which kicked off earlier this month in Tampa, Fla.
Amid neon pink lights decorating the stage à la Black Mirror’s San Junipero, he proceeded to belt out the sweltering, R&B-laden “Nostálgico,” which usually features Rvssian and Chris Brown. He also performed his latest cut which originally features Dominican upstart Ángel Dior. The space cadet then introduced urbano singer/rapper Chris Palace to the stage to sing the upbeat “Gatas.” The rising star sported a colorful set of hair designed like flames, and the crowd welcomed him with a roar of excitement.
“It’s my time in New York City,” he exclaimed. Meanwhile, a gigantic screen hovered over the stage showing an array of retro-styled images like planets, palm trees, and binary numbers.
Hip-hop dance crew Jabbawockeez, who never missed a beat, provided plenty of thrills and chills with their b-boy style moves that went perfectly with the throwback theme of the night.
Although the performer just announced his engagement with the Spanish superstar, the former reggaeton lothario still flirted with the audience, as hordes of screaming females threw their thongs and bras towards him. He picked them up and swung them around to further arouse them. Never forget “Panties y Brasieres.”
Alejandro spanned through numerous smash hits, including bangers “Te Felicito,” “Desesperados,” “Desenfocao’.” His global breakout “Todo de Ti” was remixed to a slower, more electronic-focused beat. But on “Dime Quien????” El Fókin Zorro continued to bring his insatiable vigor and howling vocals to the spotlight. The high-energy banger got every single person in attendance on their feet instantly, with a rhythm accentuated by analog synth-pop and thumping bass that harkened back to 1984’s Footloose.
“Party” by Bad Bunny featuring Rauw also built for a triumphant moment, and the romantic and simmering “Museo” revealed one of the most beautiful choreography with statuesque poses — there was even a scene where the Puerto Rican and his backup dancers pulled off a seemingly impossible lean à la Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.”
The night came to an end by Alejandro teasing the arrival of another guest star, and while screaming fans shouted “Rosalía!” none other than Dominican dembow purveyor El Alfa arrived. The screams got louder to deafening as the two proceeded to sing the high-energy cut “Bésalo,” which was followed by El Alfa’s own mega hit “Los Aparatos.”
“I don’t know if everyone knows but today I released an EP along with the love of my life,” he said and began to croon the words to “Beso,” taking turns with Rosalía’s which resonated from the speakers. Elated cheers filled the arena throughout the evening at Barclays.
With a wide-ranging mosaic of sounds that span across generations and sonic configurations, Rauw Alejandro is truly a musical omnivore who is unafraid to try something different, and that makes him one of the most exhilarating artists of modern Latin pop.