It was a humid summer night east of New York City in Elmont, Long Island, and inside the packed UBS Arena on Thursday, it was just as sweltering. Thousands of fans gathered, largely a young Latin crowd clad in black, many visibly thrilled to see arguably the hottest música Mexicana sensation, 24-year-old Peso Pluma.
The Guadalajara performer is midway through the North American leg of his Doble P Tour, presented by Live Nation, which spans about 40 dates. Donning a huge black puffer jacket and durag, Peso Pluma began the show at 9 p.m. Thursday night. He appeared more like a drill artist instead of a traditional corridos singer, wearing a baggy T-shirt and pants onstage. But that’s the appeal: He resonates with an urbano crowd that leans toward a street-style aesthetic and a bélico lifestyle.
Riding high off his Billboard chart-topping streak — including being the artist with the most nods (21) ahead of this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards — Peso Pluma showcased his hitmaking and genre-spanning prowess for nearly two hours.
Here are five takeaways from Thursday night’s show.
His Hitmaking Prowess
Seeing the amount of hits he’s crafted in such a short amount of time was an instant highlight, and how quickly his songs have become part of the cultural milieu for Latin music fans and beyond. His band, composed of three brass players, a tololoche (a sort of stand-up bass), a requinto (12-string guitar) and guitars, followed his every move, right on beat and delivering with gusto. “Ella Baila Sola,” “Bye,” “La Bebe” and more really amped up the entire scene.
‘Igualito A Mi Apá’ Missing
Not here to stir the pot, but we really missed seeing “Igualito A Mi Apá,” his collaboration with Mexican-American band Fuerza Regida, performed live. There have been rumors circulating the Web about their alleged feud, perhaps over competition about who is the hottest regional Mexican music act right now. Who really knows the reason behind the omission, but this song was truly missed from the already spectacular show.
An Eclectic Performer With an Eclectic Sound
Colombian performer Ryan Castro arrived to the stage to deliver “Quema,” their pop-reggaeton single. Then moments later, Dominican dembow purveyor El Alfa joined Peso Pluma to sing their duet “La Plebada.” Earlier in the night, the star of the show also brought out corridos singer Jasiel Nuñez, also from Guadalajara. He sang his own songs as well as their collaboration “Rosa Pastel” from Peso Pluma’s third album Génesis. Peso definitely showcased his genre-spanning prowess across música urbana and regional mexicano styles so seamlessly. In the intro video before the show, we met his band more personally via the video screens, and “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads was the music playing in the background.
Aesthetic Locked Down
Hues of peachy pink colors filled the visuals behind Peso Pluma, some of them of his silhouette. Then spidery imagery took over, interweaving with webs and shots of the band and audience. The light and black colors provided an appealing contrast to him, almost contradictory but it makes sense. Grim yet pleasing and digestible.
Now, this is my personal observation, but the energy kind of felt like I was witnessing a star on the brink of turning supernova — also largely based on the crowd’s reaction and his incredible showmanship. I remembered the time I saw Bad Bunny perform at the Palladium in New Jersey, on his first U.S. national tour, La Nueva Religión, in 2018 — that time I heard roars becoming so loud they were deafening, for an act that is relatively new to the scene.
On Thursday, the roughly 17,000 concert-goers in attendance were completely engrossed in Peso Pluma’s every move: his silly dancing turning almost iconic, his unique vocal register as he belted out verses to fans turning euphoric. He clearly gave his all to amp up the crowd but also to connect with them. It was a moment I realized I might be watching history in the making.