Last Night: Wisin Y Yandel at the American Airlines Arena

Categories: Concert Review
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Bryan Falla

Wisin Y Yandel
Saturday, June 28, 2008
American Airlines Arena

Better Than: Watching your mom and dad grind inappropriately to “Noche de Sexo” at last year’s New Year’s party.

By 8:45 p.m., the arena had filled up almost entirely and the crowd was antsy. With every cadence, every hint Wisin y Yandel might show up, an explosion of “Woo!” boomed inside the American Airlines Arena. Then as the cheesy elevator music faded and a rumbling bass began to make the floor pulse, the fans roared with the might of a thousand 17-year-olds. But the fever pitch came when Yandel’s voice buzzed through the speakers: “Permission to land?”

What followed was the collective ecstasy of 10,000 adolescent women. Tears of joy, screeches of bliss. It was something, um, out of this world?

The famous words of Neil Armstrong (“It’s one small step for man…”) resonated and were interwoven with videos of a moon landing. Then the mother of all extraterrestrial freaks appeared on screen with a message complete with language coding for us to understand. Ladies and gentlemen, Wisin and Yandel are in the building.

W & Y, a.k.a. the Dynamic Duo, a.k.a. the Extraterrestrials, are known for a poppy but rap-heavy brand of reggaeton that is as easy to sing along to as it is to move to.

“Aprovechalo,” one of the more danceable tracks from 2007’s Los Extraterrestres, started the show on a good note. Now, you would think American Airlines Arena with its sea of seating and tight spaces wouldn’t be conducive to the high-quality ass-shaking produced by the duo’s dem bow beats. But from the looks of it, it wasn’t stopping anybody. In front of seats, between rows, by the bathroom entrances -- people were setting up makeshift dance floors everywhere. Chicks in skin-tight outfits (the miniskirt dress is a personal fave) and dudes in glittery graphic tees and faux hawks found ways to bump and grind while using up as little space as possible. We are an industrious people.

But the guys knew who they were playing to. All night -- at least for the few songs they allowed us press folks in to see -- they were calling out to single women. Predictably, “Woo!!!” was the standard response.

But at one point Yandel got sensitive, and he reached out to the women who’d been hurt by Hispanic guys. Apparently we have a bad reputation. Womanizers, us? It’s a misunderstanding, says Yandel. We’re just friendly. Just because a guy has a lot of numbers in his phone doesn’t mean he’s cheating. Then they followed that with “Pam, Pam,” a song about sexing up his hot homey-lover-friend.

Unfortunately, the organizers felt the media shouldn’t experience the entire show. Maybe they wanted to be fair to the fans who paid $100 a ticket. Maybe they wanted to maintain some level of mystery a la Roswell. Either way, I only got to see them perform “Aprovechalo,” “Ahora Es,” “Presion,” “Siguelo,” and “Yo te Quiero.” Although I did get to see the intermission.

For the intermission, the crowd was treated to a good old-fashioned dance off. The boys taking on the girls. At the beginning of the show the backup dancers were wearing Disney-like space skin (glowing with green streams) and creepy masks. But by midway they had assimilated to Earth customs and were sporting the latest in MTV-approved “street” gear.

The high-energy dancing was interrupted by the very melodic, very romantical “Yo Te Quiero,” which featured a Luis Fonsi (Puerto Rican heartthrob and singer) appearance. This version was more like the remix in Los Vaqueros, which also features Fonsi.

After this I was escorted out of the arena with the rest of my media kin so I couldn’t tell you if the fans were pleased or pissed. I couldn’t tell you if there was call for an encore. I couldn’t tell if they played some of their classics (“Rakata” and “Llame Pa’ Verte” come to mind) but I could tell you that for the 25 minutes I saw, it was good shit.

Critic’s Notebook:

Personal Bias: Though the organizers only allowed the press to stay for all of, oh I don’t know, five songs, I saw enough ass-shaking to last me a month. Maybe a week. For sure until Tuesday.

Random Detail: If musical collaborations were sex, Wisin and Yandel would probably have the claps. They’ve been in collabos with R. Kelly, Paris Hilton, 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Lenny Kravitz, and the promiscuous girl herself, Nelly Furtado, among many, many others.

By the Way: Just because Wisin and Yandel are sporting their signature D&G look, does not make it OK for you to wear your sunglasses at night. Inside a dimly lit building.

- Bryan Falla


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