Riding off the high of his El Último Tour Del Mundo, Bad Bunny is returning for another run. This time, a stadium tour, the World’s Hottest Tour as it’s titled. And as done previously, he set the tone with multiple shows in his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Three concerts, three dates. 18,749 people in just one night in El Choli — breaking the attendance record at the venue previously set by Metallica. All eyes were on Bad Bunny this past weekend, even worldwide, as Telemundo broadcasted the show, and I was there to capture the monumental moment of Benito’s ever-skyrocketing career.
It all began as we arrived in San Juan on a Monday. Traffic had L.A. vibes with cars backed up for blocks and blocks —with no end in sight. People spilled into the streets near Condado late into the night. Our driver said there was a regatta in town. Yachts that hadn’t visited Puerto Rico in over thirty years were in town to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Old San Juan. The energy was palpable. But it was no match for what we would experience on Thursday when Bad Bunny would perform the first of his Un Verano Sin Ti shows.
Here’s a look at everything we experienced en El Choli:
Arrival & Activations
We pulled up to El Choli around 8 p.m. Crowds of excited fans lined up in their best summer party outfits — with lots of neon and bright prints — ready for an epic night of perreo. The ‘fits come as no surprise, given that Benito said he wanted this show to be more of a party than a concert. The colorful ensembles poured into the pop-ups and elaborate booths from a variety of brands, all celebrating the Ugly Primo-designed artwork of Un Verano, with sad, one-eyed hearts plastered inside and outside of the venue.
One example of a booth was the McDonald’s 360º selfie booth outside the Western entrance of the stadium that let concertgoers mark their attendance with interactive photos. These activations made for a more memorable concert experience, making it feel more like a festival than just a one-stop show.
Benito's Fashion-Marked Entrance
Benito stepped on stage precisely at 10:43 pm. Decked out in white silk twill lounge pants with a printed floral motif, designed by Charaf Tajer’s Casablanca Paris label (here if you want a pair) — which, if you think about it, perfectly encapsulates Bad Bunny’s vibe. Breathable luxurious silk for comfort and perreo movement in hot island weather.
Casablanca celebrates the colorful tradition of Marrakesh food markets and marries handmade watercolor images with magnificent fabrics. Likewise, Benito celebrates tradition, embraces the craft, and lives at the intersection of comfort and luxury, with a ton of inclusive sensuality and a very personal expression of art.
Needless to say, I need those pants.
Speaking of clothes: The tour merch for Un Verano Sin Ti is worth standing in a line of 250+ people if you ask me. There’s something for everyone: from hoodies and crewnecks to tees and shorts to the actual safari bucket hat Benito wears in the Tití Me Pregunto music video. Stand-out items include white socks with the heart “logo,” a plush heart (peluche), and of course, ripe for summer, a beach towel. “Si nos secamo’, yo traigo la toalla!” makes total sense now. If you want something, treat yourself and don’t sleep on splurging because resale is already astronomically high, over +300%.
And if you’re not into name-branding on merch, some items were clear of Bad Bunny’s name. There were options with just the heart logo or the words: Un verano sin ti.
Setlist & Surprise Guests
You may have seen the setlist, endless TikToks, and recorded uploads of Telemundo’s TV broadcasts on YouTube, but Bad Bunny’s opening show did not disappoint. Kicking things off with Un Coco/Moscow Mule, Benito went through an insane 40-song setlist. But really, it was over fifty if you include the medleys and additional songs by Chencho and Jowell & Randy. The show felt like a homecoming or an NBA championship parade, with many supporting artists showing love. From Villano Antillano to Buscabulla, The Marias, Jhay Cortez, Chencho Corleone, Tony Dize, Jowell & Randy, Arcángel, and Bomba Estereo. And that was only the first night. It was so beautiful to see Bad Bunny use this televised platform to put people on to new artists that aren’t household names yet while also writing a love letter to Puerto Rican music.
The Home Crowd
There wasn’t a single song that the crowd didn’t sing along to. It felt like an endless karaoke session from early bangers like Chambea to 20 of 23 from Un Verano Sin Ti (yes, 20). When Chencho and Bad Bunny sang a raw acapella reprise of Me Porto Bonito, the crowd’s echo gave me ASMR spine chills. Although the stadium saw tens of thousands of concertgoers, the performance could feel intimate no matter where you were sitting. The people on the floor never stopped dancing or singing, savoring every moment. For a second there, San Juan felt like home. When Benito said “Bad Bunny es Puerto Rico entero, puñetaaaaaaaa!” — I truly felt that in my bones.
I can’t do justice to the Boricua disposition regarding Bad Bunny’s status as a new symbol of hope for Puerto Ricans. But I invite you to watch this video by @missangelina.com_ on TikTok, which encapsulates so many moments where Bad Bunny has stepped up to make Puerto Rico feel seen, heard, and represented on a global scale, working as a bridge between the island and Boricuas living abroad. The world’s most-streamed artist is Boricua and doesn’t aspire to live in the hills of Los Angeles or start his tours anywhere but his hometown. For me, Benito’s joy, embracing the Boricua dialect, stating that he wants to live in Puerto Rico forever, and shouting “El País es de nosotros!” really struck a deep chord within my soul.
When Benito said to the crowd, “Gracias por quererme tanto,” I started weeping. It wasn’t a die-hard fan moment; it was a moment of gratitude we often forget to have. It was a reminder that no matter where we are in our lives to thank the people who love us whenever we get the chance.
It was moments like this throughout the show that demonstrated that Bad Bunny is more than just a performer. His love for his hometown and fans can be felt by anyone in and out of Puerto Rico. He represents centuries to come in Puerto Rican history. Leading with joy, pride, gratitude, and ganas de perrear y perrear y perrear y perrear y perrear.