Romeo Santos Proves Merengue & Bachata is Forever at Sold-Out Show in Citi Field

Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images

Romeo Santos triumphantly made his solo return to the Tri-state area, four years after his historic headline show at MetLife Stadium in 2019.

This time, he chose to cross the river to grace the stage at Citi Field. With an attendance of 40,000 fans, the sold-out concert on Friday, June 9, left no room for doubt about Santos’ fandom and deep connection to his home state of New York. Although he has previously sold out venues like Yankee Stadium and MetLife Stadium, this was his first time performing at Citi Field, checking off another one of New York City’s most prominent venues and marking another milestone in his illustrious career.

But as an attendee with Dominican roots and someone who has attended his shows in the past, this show was different. It went beyond being a celebration of Santos’ impressive journey, offering glimpses into every album he has released, including his work with Aventura. It became an emotional tribute to his Dominican roots, a profound homage to our culture. The experience left me with goosebumps, a powerful reminder of the richness of our heritage and its vibrant music.

The concert was indeed a homecoming for Romeo Santos, not only because he was just a borough away from his birthplace in the Bronx but also because he paid homage to the legendary sounds of Dominican merengue. Santos treated concertgoers to a set featuring iconic Dominican merengueros Ramon Orlando, Fernando Villalona, Ruby Perez, and Toño Rosario, who have played significant roles in shaping the traditional genre.

Their performance was nothing short of spectacular, lasting over half an hour. It was not just a brief stint as we typically see with special guests; instead, it was a genuine celebration of their iconic hits and enduring contributions to Dominican music. Each leyenda was given the opportunity to showcase more than one of their beloved acts, basking in their well-deserved solo spotlights on the stage, performing hits like Orlando’s “El Venao” and Villalona’s “Dominicano Soy.”

Photography by Erniel Rodriguez.
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As each took center stage, the other artists and Santos stood behind, providing unwavering support and admiration for their fellow legends. This display of camaraderie and mutual respect further elevated the atmosphere, acknowledging their invaluable legacies. With each song, the crowd got louder and the flags waved higher, cementing this as less of a show but a joint celebration cherished by his Dominican fans and all the other Latin American fans who were joining in on the energy.

Photo by Thatiana Diaz.
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In addition to the iconic performance with Dominican legends, Santos delighted the audience with songs from his Fórmula, Vol. 3 album, starting the concert with his Rosalía-featured track “El Pañuelo” and concluding the show with beloved hits from his time with Aventura. From start to finish, the crowd sang along passionately to every lyric from “El Chico de las Poesias.”

Another highlight of the night was when Santos shared the stage with fellow Dominican artist Natti Natasha. Together, they performed their hit song, “La Mejor Versión De Mi,” for the first time, leaving the audience in awe of their remarkable musical chemistry and vocal prowess. He also gave an opportunity to an emerging artist out of the Dominican music scene, bringing out El Nephew during an outfit change — an artist bringing together the newer flow of dembow with the traditional sounds of bachata.

And that’s not all the night entailed. Moreover, Santos had a special surprise in store for his fans. He revealed his mark in New York City wouldn’t be over just yet for the year as he would perform at Madison Square Garden this fall, on October 30.

The blend of legendary acts with newer talent was a powerful move from Romeo Santos, particularly in a time when people question the survival of traditional genres like bachata and merengue beyond the Dominican Republic. Santos demonstrated that these genres are far from fading with the power of legacy and the allure of reinvention. Sharing the stage with a wide range of Dominican talent in the way Santos did was a testament to the resilience, vibrancy, and timeless appeal of Dominican culture and its music.

Photo by Thatiana Diaz.
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