The Romeo Santos Citi Field Show Was Significant for Latine New Yorkers
Whenever Bachata king Romeo Santos steps foot in a NYC stadium, the turnout is no joke. He has sold out shows at both Yankee Stadium and Met Life Stadium, and his performance on Friday, June 9, at Citi Field was no different. The sold-out, three-hour performance, which is part of the Grammy-nominated singer’s “Fórmula, Vol. 3” tour, was accompanied by a packed crowd of 40,000 fans. Based on the countless Latin American flags that waved that night, it’s fair to assume that a large majority of the audience were Latines. Dominican DJ Mad opened the show, playing everything from merengue to reggaeton and even Central American cumbia; in other words, he made sure to please the diverse Latine communities that showed up. Santos, who is a native New Yorker himself, remains significant for Latines from New York, particularly those who grew up listening to him back in his Aventura days. There was a sense of Latine orgullo that night that really spoke to the impact Santos still has in his city and on the community.
From the second Santos hit the stage, he was greeted by a screaming and excited audience. A backup singer opened the show with Rosalia’s “El Pañuelo” before the bachata king began performing some of his hit songs from his “Fórmula Vol. 2” and “Fórmula Vol. 3” albums, including “La Diabla,” Eres Mia,” “Mar,” “Cancioncitas de Amor, “and “Odio” before singing other recognizable hits like “Inmortal” and “Ayudame.”
After hyping the crowd, Santos surprised everyone with a performance of “La Major Versión de Mi” alongside Dominican reggaetonera Natti Natasha. It was his first time performing the song in front of a live audience. Throughout the night, Santos was very intentional about having Dominican guest artists perform. El Nephew made an appearance performing his hit song “Azarorosa (BachaBow).” As a special tribute to his Dominican roots, culture, and community, Santos brought out Dominican legends Ruby Pérez, Toño Rosario, Fernando Villalona, and Ramon Orlando, who performed a number of their big hits including “15,500 Noches.”
The classic hits, which date as far back as the 1980s and ’90s, left a real sense of nostalgia in the air that night. They were the songs many of us – Dominicans especially – grew up hearing at family gatherings. Something about this part of the performance felt magical. Not only did it celebrate Dominican Yorkinos and the memories many of us have around this music, but it also made everyone in the stadium – regardless of whether they were Dominican, Boricua, Colombian, or Mexican – feel connected. It felt like one big happy Latine family party.
Aside from the amazing guest performances, another major highlight of the night was when Santos started taking song requests from the audience. It’s not something you typically see at major stadium concerts. The bachatero took his time tackling song requests, interacting with audiences, making jokes, doing his signature booty-shaking move, and even surprising the crowd with throwback Aventura songs like “Un Beso” and “Obsesion.”
While Santos didn’t hit the stage until after 9 p.m., he certainly delivered with a three-hour performance that included most of his hit songs. In fact, if there was a song you wanted to see Santos perform, it’s likely he performed it. While the Bronx native is known for his performances and selling out shows, there’s something about when he’s in his native city that really made for an epic night. Santos will never forget his roots, his community, and his New York Latine fans and he made sure that was deeply felt on Friday night.