Colombian superstar Juanes celebrated the release of his fifth studio, P.A.R.C.E., last night with an intimate show at New York City’s Irving Plaza. “I’ve spent a long time playing alone at home, totally bored. Being here with you is marvelous,” he told the 900-plus fans squeezed into the standing-room only venue. “We’re here to have fun!”
Juanes definitely delivered on his promise. He opened the night with “Yerbatero,” a guitar-driven track about a traveling medicine man that cures heartache with herbs, and then slowed things down with the rock ballad “Y No Regresas,” about lost love. The rest of the night, he continued to showcase new material (“La Soledad,” “Regalito” and “Esta Noche”) while dipping into his repertoire for favorites fans could sing along to, including “A Dios Le Pido,” “La Paga,” Fotografía” and “La Camisa Negra.”
Before performing “Es Por Ti,” he told the crowd, “You are the parceros,” referring to the album’s title, which is short for “parcero,” a slang term used in his native Medellín to mean “buddy.” And watching Juanes’ interaction with the audience, you can tell that his bond with them is sincere and from the heart, much like his music. Throughout the show, he thanked them often for their support: “Mil y mil gracias. Que Dios los bendiga, muchachos.”
Near the end of the concert, he gave us a rocking version of Colombian salsa icon Joe Arroyo’s “Rebelion (No Le Pegue A La Negra),” which got the audience dancing and waving their flags high in the air. Then, just when everyone thought it was time to go home, he started taking requests. “What else do you want to hear, guys?” he said, as if he were playing some tunes at home with a few friends.
The last song of the night, “Y No Regresas,” was a repeat, but it was given more weight by the mere mention of the person it was dedicated to: John Lennon. “It’s been 30 years since his death,” said Juanes. “I’ve listened to him since I was seven years old.” And we’ve listened to you, Juanes, for a decade now and you’ve never disappointed. Thanks for a great show."