Perhaps it’s difficult to understand the magnitude of El Alfa’s sold-out concert last night in Santo Domingo’s Palacio de los Deportes. The full house was all the more significant given the most recent episode in the history of attempted government censorship of urban genres. In June, the Comisión Nacional de Espectáculos Públicos y Radiofonía that regulates the DR’s radio and TV communications banned eight songs, including “Lo Que Diga Yo,” El Alfa’s collaboration with Bad Bunny, Miky Woodz, and fellow Dominican artist Jon Z. Agency president JM Hildago gave as justification for the ban, “The high volume of sexual and obscene content, and encouragement of death, suicide, and the use of banned substances are being used in a thoughtless way in songs today.”
But just two months later, Jon Z joined El Jefe on stage for a show that turned out more than 8,000 urbano fans and drew the attendance of some of the DR’s most recognizable celebrities, underlining his work and his genre’s importance for the island’s population. Those who were in the building, both backstage and in the stands went all out for the show — El Alfa’s first major concert event — which journalist Juan Carlos Jiménez says had the arena packed at 6:30 p.m. for the 9 p.m. start. We compiled a list of highlights in case you weren’t lucky enough to catch the vibe in person.