For a brief time in the mid-2000’s I was working primarily with a woman from Mexico and a man from Guatemala. They would always arrive to work before me, and the radio would be on one of the Latin stations. I didn’t speak any Spanish and had never really listened to any music not sung in English (other than The Gypsy Kings cover of “Hotel California” that is heard when Jesus is introduced in The Big Lebowski). It was during this time that I was introduced to Juanes.
The Colombian singer had recently released his seminal album, Mi Sangre, and it seemed like every few songs they would play another cut by Juanes. Radio wasn’t that much different then, so hearing the same artist over and over all day shouldn’t be much of a shock. What was surprising was that they would play different songs, not just the same single over and over. Eventually it got to the point that I could pick out the Juanes songs from the others, and my co-workers would have a laugh at me trying to sing along.
So when the opportunity came up, thanks to Citi and American Airlines Aadvantage Mastercard, to see Juanes love at House Of Blues with a small crowd I knew I had to go. I tried to get in to shoot the show with no luck, so I bought a ticket and took a Fuji X-E2S that’s small enough to pass as a typical point and shoot, but gets photos that look a lot better than you’d expect.
I got there about a half hour before doors opened and was 70 or so deep in line. They slowly started getting people in around 8pm and I was able to find a spot in the second row behind people who were not very tall. On stage was Amuna, doing a DJ set to warm up the crowd with pop and hip-hop tracks new and old.
The DJ set went almost til 9. Then the lights finally went down and a long intro video played as the band came out and took their positions. The crowd was getting hyped seeing Juanés on the screen, and the place exploded as the singer came out and launched into “A Dios La Pido.”
Over the next 90 minutes Juanés took the audience on a journey through his hits. Every song that got played was a fan favorite and the crowd was moving with every beat. The band he’s been working with features four men at the top of their craft. And the man himself delivered some transcendent riffs on his guitar.