New talent Antonio Orozco opened recently for Latin super star Juanes with a simple acoustic set. His short Spanish guitar performance really connected with the audience. Charming stories, dreams of charting a hit in the United States and sporting a Chicago t-shirt really pleased the crowd that eagerly awaited the main act.
Juan Esteban Aristizabal Vasquez, or better known simply as Juanes, finally strutted on the Rosemont Theatre stage singing one of his newer songs “Yerbatero” from P.A.R.C.E. Parcero is Colombian slang for friend and he was surrounded by them. He seems to really appreciate his listeners. His visuals at the start of the show were pictures of fan’s faces from Twitter and other social media being stacked as boxes on top of each other.
Large television screens with bigger than life lights were something that didn’t stack up and Juanes doesn’t need to rely on tricks to keep the troups entertained. The rocker who is approaching 40 years old now is very relaxed and sports short hair with a confidence that he has grown into as a performer. The massive visuals seemed tailor made for an outdoor arena. In the past I have seen the political activist play in a smaller space in downtown Chicago quite adequately. The wave of sound was a little overpowering but probably worked well for the top row of the balcony. J can learn from Antonio and strip things down with a small acoustic offering. His friends and fans will obviously still be there for him waving their Colombian flags in support.
He sang “Fotografia” without a female singer to replace Nelly Furtado, who did bring her own Latino singer onstage when she sang the same tune last year.
With so many hits from over five albums, the Billboard chart topper played a strong lengthy set. A greatest hits tour can’t be too far down the line for the singer. He stopped in the middle of “Amame” to say “gracias, Chicago” and made the girls love him even more as they ran up and down the aisles taking pictures. It really was a love fest as no one wanted to say adios to him after an encore rendition of “A Dios le Pido,” but they can definitely ask God to bring the star back to town soon, with a scaled down version next time.