With a show that featured lights, videos and his greatest hits, the Colombian artist Juanes, aka Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez, made his San Francisco stop on his national “Loco de Amor” tour.
The historic Warfield Theater located on Market Street in downtown San Francisco, played host to a packed crowd of about 2,000 mostly Latino people, who enjoyed the Grammy Award winner’s performance. The show’s opening act featured Mexican singer and actress Ximena Sariñana.
Juanes has separated himself from other Latino artists who have found success in the United States because of his refusal to sing in English. That has caught the attention of the American media and suggests that language may not be all that necessary to cross over into the competitive United States market.
Decked out in black with his bright red-colored microphone, his characteristic guitar slung over his shoulder and facing a sea of recording smartphones, Juanes played his most famous hits as loud as he possibly could—“Mil pedazos,” “La paga,” “Esta noche” and “Loco de amor.” His style could be likened to what is classified as Latin rock, with many of the ballads and catchy rhythms being easy to follow and sing. The poetry of Juanes—countryman of Gabriel Garcia Marquez—may sound new to a bilingual public, but displays a theme that is somewhat depleted of romanticism.
But offstage Juanes is known worldwide for his work on the Mi Sangre Foundation, which helps landmine victims.
Events outside the venue garnered considerable attention as the exacerbated and somewhat exaggerated security thoroughly inspected concertgoers who waited in front of the building, and a couple waving a Palestinian flag protested Juanes’ possible tour showing in Israel at the end of the year.
The protesters represented the Colombian BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions on the State of Israel), which is asking the singer to follow the example of Carlos Santana, Lauryn Hill, Roger Waters, Elvis Costello and others, not to visit that country.
Before going solo, Juanes began his career with the metal band Ekhymosis. According to his label, Juanes has sold over 15 million albums worldwide.
Story by: Fernando A. Torres