By: Fredwill Hernandez
Possibly ahead of his time or predicting what was to come, through the title of his debut album released Oct 17, 2000, Juanes was asking us, you, or me [?], to Fijate Bien [Spanish for Take A Good Look], and May 16, 2018, I did just that, when I had a chance to go see his Amarte Tour, performance held at Viejas Arena, San Diego State University, [San Diego, Ca].
Part of what has made this tour special and unique, aside from Juanes’ own contributions has been the participation of Chilean singer/songwriter and rocker born Norma Monserrat Bustamante Laferte, known artistically as Mon Laferte, who in 2017 won a Latin Grammy under the “Best Alternative Song” category for her song “Amárrame” featuring Juanes, during the 18th Annual Latin Grammy’s held Nov. 18, 2017, in Las Vegas, [NV].
Mon Laferte, [who opened up for Juanes] took us on a musical roller coaster ride, a la Space Mountain in Disneyland, with her soulful voice, unique style, and the distinct sound of her band’s horn section, even bringing out Juanes’ to perform “Amárrame,” the song that put her on the [world] map, forever!
Mon’s set, [in my opinion] set the stage, and was like a bridge for Juanes to walk across as his spatial journey [for the night] was about to begin.
Juanes is so deep and unique that you would have to spend a full day [or possibly more] doing research, reading and watching his videos to understand what he actually accomplished [through] and in Mis Planes Son Amarte [album], not just musically, but visually with the help of Puerto Rican film director Kacho López Mari, who collaborated with him on the concept and helped him bring the visual [foundation of the tour, and how the concert, his set began] to life.
What Juan Luis Guerra is to [the Dominican Republic’s] Merengue/Bachata music, or what Pepe Aguilar is to [Mexican] Ranchera/Mariachi music, or even what Residente [of Calle 13] is to [Puerto Rican] Urban music, Hip-Hop in Spanish, not Reggaeton, Juanes is to Altenative/Pop Rock music in Spanish: unique, relevant, focused and as wine, “getting better with time.” This was evident in his performance, as he commanded the stage.
Juanes, who in my opinion, can collaborate [with others, and has] without losing the essence of who his is as an artist, not forgetting where he came from, or the human qualities [and gifts] that really matter and make him and his music, unique and “great.” The same qualities, mental frequencies, and vibrations he transmitted throughout [the night in] and during his performance at Viejas Arena, as he took over and rocked the house!