Over the weekend J Balvin bid farewell to his North American ARCOIRIS tour at Staples Center, with a sold-out show. Created in partnership with the immersive arts collective ‘Friends With You.’ Thousands of his fans where screaming and singing along as he opened the night with “Reggeaton” and chart-toppers “Matchika” and “Con Altura.”

J Balvin at Staples Center
Photo by: Armando Fragoza

To see an artist like J Balvin, perform live is an experience that cannot be recreated. From the moment he emerged on stage, phones could be seen in everyone’s hand. Not recording themselves but recording him.

“Tonight, is the closing of the ARCOIRIS tour.” He told the crowd in Spanish. “And what better way to close it than with my family here in Los Angeles. with all of you.”

Surrounded by his usual widely impressive dancers (some who were brave enough to wear marshmallow suits, giant popsicle customes and fat heads under blistering lights). As well as a giant prop-horse; which J Balvin admitted he could not get down from and welcomed the screen grabs and memes that were to come, should he fall.

He proposed only three things to his audience, early into his set. Number One: that everyone enjoys their time. Number Two: that every be in good spirits and number Three: To break the world record of bras thrown on stage.

Throughout his tour J Balvin, has felt the love and admiration of his female fans, by means of flying garments. The previous recorded for number of bras he has had thrown at him was, 75. Of course it did not take long for the woman of Los Angeles to accept the challenge and begin throwing bras (and some underwear) across the arena and into his arms. The night ended with a new record of over 98 bras and at least two pairs of female underwear.

While it took some encouragement from J Balvin and DJ/hype man David Rivera Mazo, to get the bra record broken. Requests one and two were an easy achievement. As he performed throughout the night many of his hits such as; “Safari,” “X,” a remixed-techno version of “I Can’t Get Enough” and numerous hits from his past albums and a few from his recently released collaborative album, “OASIS.” The crowd was up on their feet and singing along; with J Balvin at times pausing to hear the crowed as they sang along with him.

As he did last year, halfway through his set he emerged in a second stage located behind floor seating. Here, as he rose high above the crowed, he sang “La Cancion.” The track is about thinking that you’ve completely forgotten about someone, until a memorable song begins to play, and all the memories of a shared time begin to come back.

It was during this moment that he decided to share a heartfelt message with his fans about depression and immigration.

If you follow the artist on Instagram, then you can recall the time when he took to his stories and posted about his struggles with depression. While not going into detail about his personal struggle, he told the audience that it even if it’s something that you went through, are going through or just coming out of it. He understands you and is with you:

“I am human, and the same thing has happened to me and today I am feeling so much better” he told the crowd. “And in great part it’s in thanks to the public, who throughout these two months of touring have given me such encouragement of happiness and energy. I’m here to remind you that I am human like you, that we are the same, things happen to me too just like you and here is Jose or J Balvin; I am here with you.”

His second message of the night was about immigration.

“Ten years ago, I came to the United States and worked illegally, and I am very proud of what I am today because I followed my dream and here, I am, painting my dreams with you today. I used to paint house in Tampa, Orlando and I was a bad painter. I did roofs as well and that was bad too. But I always had a clear dream of being an artist and wanting to share a moment like this. So, follow your dreams. They are worth it.”

Recently Complex Magazine did a piece about the artist that have emerged from Columbia, titled: “A New Medellin: Rebirth Through Reggaeton.” The piece featured many artists, including J Balvin who spoke about Medellin and the impact growing-up there has had on their music.

This is not the first time, J Balvin has spoken about his influence. Since emerging on the scene, he has been very forthcoming about his upbringing and the artist who inspired his artistic creativity to this day.

As he did during his performance at Coachella, when he paid homage to the
Reggaeton and Trap-Music artist that came before him. He once again took a moment to thank those who paved the way for a new generation of artist such as himself. Playing classical hits such as, Winsin y Yandels “Rakata” and “Oye Mi Canto” by N.O.R.E.

J Balvin at Staples Center
Photo Credit:Armando Fragoza

In his years since the release of his first album, “La Familia.” J Balvin has emerged as the definition of a true international artist. He has broken records, barriers and proven that music knows – no language and no borders. While he has collaborated with American artist, such as Will.I.AM. Who he just so happened to bring on stage with him for a live performance of their new song featured in the Bad Boys for Life soundtrack, “RITMO.” He has never once strayed from his roots.

With many projects in the works; such as a creative collaboration with the creators of “SpongeBob SquarePants” and Chicago artist Louis De Guzman. 2020, will surely be a fruitful year for the international star.

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