REVIEW: Juanes and Mon Laferte combine powerhouse forces at City National Civic


Photos: Chloe Catajan

SAN JOSE — Juanes brought the last leg of his Amarte Tour to San Jose’s City National Civic Friday. With support from Chilean songstress Mon Laferte, the tour celebrated Juanes’ 2017 visual album Mis Planes Son Amarte (My Plans Are To Love You).

Before unfolding a 21-song performance of stadium-quality energy, a short film starring the Colombian rock star in outer space played. Juanes then opened with “A Dios Le Pido.” The 2002 single translates to “I beg to God” is quintessential to Juanes’ mix of rock and traditional Latino folk. Starting off with an old banger riled up fans for the rest of the evening; it didn’t take long at all for cheering and word-for-word singalongs to ensue.

Juanes played “Fuego” next, an electrifying track from Mis Planes Son Amarte. As its title implies, the song is about a fiery romance, with fast-paced arrangements. Juanes amplified the guitar parts live with masterful shredding. Head over heels, the crowd seemed to have its dancing shoes ready.


Fans watch Juanes perform at City National Civic in San Jose on May 18, 2018.

Juanes dove into some more Mis Planes Son Amarte songs like “Hermosa Ingrata,” “Angel” and “Perro Viejo.” Old favorites like “Volverte a ver” and hit “La Camisa Negra,” both off 2004 LP Mi Sangre, also made an appearance.

For the encore, Juanes took things slow with a sentimental cover of “Querida,” by late Mexican pop icon Juan Gabriel. He then flipped the mood to close with “La Luz,” a boisterous bop hearty enough to leave the crowd calling out for more.

Chilean queen Mon Laferte preceded Juanes with a soul-energizing performance. Laferte walked onto stage to the 1950s Patience and Prudence song, “Tonight You Belong To Me.” The tune fit her retro pinup aesthetic perfectly and like a complete badass, she prompted her live band and brass trio to start playing with the swing of her arm.

Mon Laferte

Mon Laferte performs at City National Civic in San Jose on May 18, 2018.

Laferte began with “Antes De Ti,” a dreamy bolero ballad that showed off her powerful pipes. Visual projections switched between illustrated scenes of ocean waves and cherry blossoms, reinforcing the breezy ambience. Her songs represented several genres, from bolero to rockabilly to acoustic balladry.

With smiles and air kisses, Laferte brought out all sorts of dance moves throughout her set. At times, she’d simply sway back and forth and then switch things up with some cabaret action. She also wasn’t afraid to show off her silly side, often posing during musical interludes. Her radiant energy was contagious as fans constantly left their seats to belt along to “Tu Falta De Querer” and “No Te Fumes Mi Mariguana.”

Other set highlights included Laferte’s joint performance with Juanes for their Latin Grammy Award-winning song “Amárrame.” She also sang happy birthday to her guitar player and smashed cake in his face.

Laferte bid adieu in the most memorable fashion: She smeared lipstick across her cheeks and blew one final kiss to the audience.

Mexican singer-guitarist Caloncho opened the show with a set full of beach vibes. His music mixed elements of reggae, dream-pop and alt rock. During his third song, he brought a saxophonist onto the stage, adding yet another layer to his multifaceted sound. He had fans singing along to popular songs like “Brillo Mio,” “Palmar” and “Optimista.”

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