News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bad Bunny pays homage to his roots and longtime fans on ‘Most Wanted Tour’

Bad Bunny performs during the ‘Most Wanted’ tour at American Airlines Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Dallas.
Juan Figueroa
/
The Dallas Morning News
Bad Bunny performs during the ‘Most Wanted’ tour at American Airlines Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Dallas.

Bad Bunny’s first stop in Dallas for his “Most Wanted Tour” delivered an immersive, cinematic experience that paid homage to his roots and took fans through some of his career’s highlights.

“Where are the ones who have listened to me since day one?” Bad Bunny said in Spanish during the show.

It began with an orchestra. The anticipation began to build among fans Thursday night at a packed American Airlines Center.

The Philharmonic Orchestra Project opens Bad Bunny’s ‘Most Wanted’ tour at American Airlines Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Dallas.
Juan Figueroa
/
The Dallas Morning News
The Philharmonic Orchestra Project opens Bad Bunny’s ‘Most Wanted’ tour at American Airlines Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Dallas.

Soon, the notes of “NADIE SABE” rang out and Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, known as Bad Bunny, emerged from the fog on an opposite stage.

After the opening track, in which the artist vulnerably lays out the inner workings of his mind, the track “MONACO” boomed from the speakers and put fans into a frenzy.

Inspired by his latest album, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana (“no one knows what will happen tomorrow”) — which features a drawing of a horse bucking a man in a mask and a denim-on-denim outfit on the cover — hundreds of people donned cowboy hats, boots and denim skirts or jackets. Outside the arena, vendors sold tall stacks of 10-gallon hats, some pink, black, fuzzy or bedazzled, for those who didn’t get the memo.

Track after track, Bad Bunny delivered a fiery performance. But the seasoned Puerto Rican artist also took drawn-out moments to soak in the roaring crowd, solemnly and slowly looking around the arena.

Bad Bunny performs during the ‘Most Wanted’ tour at American Airlines Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Dallas.
Juan Figueroa/
/
The Dallas Morning News
Bad Bunny performs during the ‘Most Wanted’ tour at American Airlines Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Dallas.

After playing a number of songs from his latest trap-centered album and a quick interlude, Bad Bunny came out on a horse, dressed as the character on his album cover.

Onstage, after performing “TELEFONO NUEVO,” he pointed his pinky fingers up and placed them on his cheeks — an all-too-familiar pose for his longtime fans.

It signaled a transition into his roots, to the trap songs that launched him into stardom. “Tu No Metes Cabra.” “Pa Ti.” “No Te Hagas.” “Vuelve.”

Fans frantically shouted out the words to his earliest songs. The deep, reverberating bass boomed.

Cielo Vega, 21, planned her outfit around a knitted, brown beanie with floppy bunny ears. Thursday’s concert marked her second time seeing Bad Bunny live, but her first hearing him play trap.

“I started off listening to trap and I will continue to love his trap,” Vega said. “Whether he makes party music, whether he makes just trap, I am a Bad Bunny fan ride or die.”

Originally set for Friday, the show was rescheduled to accommodate the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers playoff game. The singer was seen courtside at the Mavericks game on Sunday.

Recording artist Bad Bunny, left, sits courtside during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers, Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
Jeffrey McWhorter/ASSOCIATED PRESS
/
FR170451 AP
Recording artist Bad Bunny, left, sits courtside during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers, Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

“What day is it today?” Bad Bunny asked in Spanish. “The concert wasn’t supposed to be today but you’re all here. Thank you for being here, from the bottom of my heart.”

As the end of the show drew closer, a masked pianist joined him. The two evocatively performed stripped down versions of “un x100to” and “Amorfoda.”

Although the tour’s website warned that Bad Bunny would only play trap, the last stretch of the concert featured party-favorite reggaeton tracks. The arena buzzed with excitement up to the last song.

Zulyed Rodriguez, 18, bonded with a recent friend at the concert. The two bought last-minute tickets and were able to connect over their love for Bad Bunny’s music.

Originally from Venezuela, she said the concert “felt like being at home.”

“Seeing so many people of so many nationalities together was incredible,” Rodriguez said in Spanish. “The energy was incredible … it was like a compilation of his best songs.”

Bad Bunny will perform again at the American Airlines Center on Saturday, marking his last date in Texas. He predicted the Mavericks will win Friday’s game.

Bad Bunny performs during the ‘Most Wanted’ tour at American Airlines Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Dallas.
Juan Figueroa
/
The Dallas Morning News
Bad Bunny performs during the ‘Most Wanted’ tour at American Airlines Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Dallas.

Arts Access is an arts journalism collaboration powered by The Dallas Morning News and KERA.

This community-funded journalism initiative is funded by the Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, Communities Foundation of Texas, The University of Texas at Dallas, The Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Foundation, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer & Peter Altabef and The Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control of Arts Access’ journalism.

Valeria is an engagement reporter for The Dallas Morning News Education Lab. She was born in El Paso and raised across the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. She has previously interned at The San Antonio Express-News and The Texas Tribune.