Due to social distancing rules intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is nearly impossible to stage a concert in New York City right now. Almost every venue is shut down, there's a limit to how many people are allowed to gather in one place at a time elsewhere, and you're not even allowed to sell tickets in advance for shows. Unless you're thinking of performing while riding around in the back of a truck through the streets, you probably aren't performing live in NYC this year. But of course, if you are thinking of performing from the back of a truck, you might be able to make it work—which is what reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny did this weekend.
Puerto Rican singer and trap star Bad Bunny, a.k.a. Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, surprised New Yorkers on Sunday evening when he performed a handful of songs from the back of a truck (made up to look like a subway car) while driving through the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem. The set was streamed online as part of Uforia’s monthly music series, but there were plenty of people who were able to watch it live from the streets, including a handful of motorcyclists and cyclists who accompanied the truck—and some people who even attempted to run behind it.
The concert started at Yankee Stadium around 6 p.m. before making its way down into Manhattan. “It was difficult for me to do a concert without an audience. I didn't want to,” Bad Bunny said during the show. “But I’m accepting the new reality and I hope people enjoy this. We need it.”
Along the way, he had to strategically avoid tree branches and traffic lights.
He performed a bunch of songs from his latest album YHLQMDLG, as well as a smattering of greatest hits, including “Ni Bien, Ni Mal,” La Romana,” “Si Estuviesemos Juntos,” “Solo De Mi,” “No Me Conoce,” “Soltera (Remix)” and “Te Bote.” The show ended outside Harlem Hospital, where he performed “Yo Perreo Sola" and thanked first responders.
“Respect and thanks to those people who have sacrificed their lives in this city,” he said. “With a lot of faith in God, I sense that good things are coming. I know we are going through very difficult times. I have made thousands of mistakes, but my only mission is to try to be a better person every day.”