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Three Strangers, Juanes and Me

Last night, I had a ticket to go see Juanes with my peeps. And by my peeps, I don’t mean my Asian peeps, but my Latin peeps. Several months ago, my friend Jimmy asked me if I was interested in going to see the kick-off of Juanes’s tour with a few of his friends.

I was kinda on the fence, seeing that the cheap tickets were in the $90 range. On top of that, I literally only knew three songs by Juanes, which incidentally I had only become familiar with while listening to a German station, SWR3 (this was the local radio station that I used to play while living in Tübingen, so it brings back good memories). The pop rocker is pretty big in Deutschland and has had at least three top 10 hits there (which incidentally are the only songs I know).

I really wanted to go to Madison Square Garden (I had been searching for tix to see the Spice Girls, but they were so expensive!) and wanted to hang out with Jimmy, so I told him to count me in.

In anticipation for the monumental event of my first concert at the world-famous Madison Square Garden, I downloaded Juanes’s albums and listened to them all week in the hopes of passing myself off as some sort of fan. I also read his bio, and what do you know! The rocker is a LEGEND in his native Colombia as well as the rest of Latin America and the world, having won 12 Latin Grammys and recorded with pop sensation Nelly Furtado (“Fotografia” and “Te Busque”) as well as beloved crooner Tony Bennett (“Shadow of Your Smile”).

He’s also the Latin Bono, starting a foundation to raise awareness about and help the victims of land mines. Juanes’s activism took him all the way to Europe, where he played in front of the European Parliament, and won him the French “L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” award.

So, yes, I was getting pretty excited about this concert.

Well, last night, in TRUE LATIN FASHION, Jimmy called me 30 min before we were supposed to meet with his friends for dinner and canceled on me!

So there I was, stuck with a $90 ticket and the prospect of going to the event with three people I had never met. After some drama, I decided “dammit, I’m gonna get my money’s worth and go, even if it IS under the pathetic circumstances of going with three complete strangers.” That’s what you do in a new city where you have no friends, right?

I walked over to Koreatown (right by the venue) and met Juan and Mael for dinner. We went to Kunjip, at Juan’s suggestion. I’ll confess that I was a bit suspicious about the caliber of the food, since the recommendation to this Korean restaurant came from a Latin person, and a white Latin person, nevertheless. Actually, the food was pretty good and we hit it off pretty well, so I started to get the feeling that this was going to be a lot of fun.

At around 8pm, we met Eric at the door. Eric is the son of an Austrian diplomat and lived in Colombia for a while. He speaks Spanish fluently, with a Colombian accent, mind you. Looking at him, you’d never guess that, since all of this Latin-ness gets overshadowed by his white European-ness, so that in the middle of the whole Latin crowd he looked like he had no business being there, just like me and my Asian-ness looked like we had no business being there (I was the only Asian person amongst the thousands of spectators, in case you’re wondering).

Anyhow, we got there right as the opening band was finishing up their set. Looking around at the crowd, I really felt a pang of loss, I truly missed my dear Brazil and Latin America. For being practically unknown in this country, it was amazing that Juanes was able to fill up Madison Square Garden. The place was a microcosm of Latin America, with its disproportional percentage of tight tops and even tighter pants on voluptuous bodies, yellow gold hoop earrings in every possible size, and lots of hip shaking and singing: from the time Juanes walked up on stage to the end of the show, the whole audience was on their feet, dancing non-stop.

The concert was awesome, and it didn’t hurt that the guy is VERY, VERY good-looking. Definitely good times. I’m actually glad I ended up going and even met some new folks.

Check out some videos taken last night as well as a couple of Juanes’s videos on my favorite YouTube (some of the content is even LEGAL, coming from Warner Music itself!):

Juanes singing “Gotas de Agua Dulce” – this is from a fellow concert goer:

Singing “Volverte a Ver,” watch the show from the ghettoness of our seats:

“A Dios le Pido,” one of his greatest hits (one of the three songs I knew):


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting 🙂 It was an awesome concert !!

  2. Juanes is amazing! I’m going to his concert in April, I was wondering if you knew who was opening for him?

  3. Hi Stephanie,

    By the time we got there, the band was almost done, so I don’t know who they were, unfortunately. They were ok, but it was weird seeing this acoustic type band sitting on stools and playing when the crowd really wanted to dance!

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