Maluma – Live @ State Farm Arena

Maluma has always been one for the spotlight. Naturally, the Colombian singer-songwriter from Medellín would unleash onto the world his most glamorous and brightest tour to date. The Papi Juancho Tour, which supports the release of Maluma‘s fifth studio album of that namesake, made its way to the beautiful City of Atlanta via State Farm Arena to be witnessed by thousands of anxious and eager aficionados; some a tad more eager than others, but we will get into that further in.

Despite this run being an arena tour, the setting is rather cozy. Maluma runs his spectacle by way of a legitimate center stage; smack in the middle of the arena for all fans onsite to have a rather comfortable view. A plus-sign shaped dais provides Maluma with 4 catwalks in every which direction and the opportunity to catch a better glimpse of his onlookers and vice versa.

The clock strikes 9:15 in the evening as lights dim, the crowd brakes into a frenzied roar, those never-absent pesky cell phone cameras go up, and the star of the next ninety or so minutes makes his initial appearance. Maluma enters the room from the ground up, beneath clear white strobes and a hanging graphics cube, and onto the company of eight female backup dancers; as hit-single Hawái opens the festivities. Que empiece la fiesta!

Highlights are plentiful. From your high-end strobes, fire and smoke displays to the wardrobe changes. From the choreographs to the personal speeches between songs. Of course, this is all sort of expected; after all Maluma may very well have a bottomless touring budget and everyone’s undivided attention. Be that as it may, details is where you find your cheek-to-cheek smiles and your long term takeaways. Maluma is all about the details.

Whiskey glass in hand, Maluma signals a toast must be made. After a heartfelt speech on immigration, the show must go on, but not before a famous saying that any self-respecting Latino knows, “pa’ arriba, pa’ bajo, pa’ centro y pa’ dentro — salud!” Bottoms up, Atlanta.

Other apex moments come way of rose petals falling from the ceiling during a piano-led rendition of ADMV, a lucky fan being pulled from the crowd for a little one-on-one dance session, an ode to those ’80s rock-show cliches as a one female onlooker launched a bra to the deck; much to Maluma‘s acknowledgement, and a pre-encore getaway via a hip-strapped-harness by which Maluma was carried off into that overlooking cube.

The closing one-song encore was same as the opening number. Entrance likewise, with the exception of Juan Luis Londoño laying down during closing notes. Little fanfare came from the culmination on Maluma‘s behalf. The crescendo finale was more of a crowd extravaganza; as their unison singalong was a thing of beauty and kind of an adrenaline rush. As multi-colored confetti rains down, Maluma waves to an exhilarated and motivated mob. Gracias y buenas noches, Atlanta.

All said and done, the Papi Juancho Tour was a colorful celebration. A real South American-like atmosphere. If you know, you know. If you don’t know, now you know. It’s simply Maluma, baby, ya’know.

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