Ozuna brings Spanish flavor to Rishon

YouTube singing sensation Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado – known onstage as Ozuna – headlined his first ever concert in Israel on Wednesday night.

OZUNA PERFORMS in Rishon Lezion Wednesday night. (photo credit: OHAI SILVER)
OZUNA PERFORMS in Rishon Lezion Wednesday night.
(photo credit: OHAI SILVER)
Following a lightning show by Daddy Yankee on June 27th at LivePark in Rishon Lezion, YouTube singing sensation Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado  – known onstage as Ozuna – headlined his first ever concert in Israel at the same venue on Wednesday night. The outdoor amphitheater sold out 15,000 seats, though no one actually sat during this spirited show. Israeli fans of Ozuna knew every word of his, belting out the Spanish lyrics, and experiencing a meltdown when he thanked the crowd using Hebrew.
The set started out slow with “Unica” from his latest 2019 album Aura and gradually gained steam half way through as Ozuna internalized the growing energy of the audience. The turning point was “Dile que tu me Quieres,” a popular song from his first album Odisea (2017) that brought listeners a bit closer to the classic reggaeton beat they know and is the very signature sound that his fans love him for. After that halfway point of the set’s 28 songs, the concert lifted into an all-encompassing experience for fans who lost themselves in the Caribbean beats and danced without inhibition.
Set design was cleverly constructed to reinforce Ozuna’s strong brand. Images of his logo, a cartoon bear, appeared on screen behind him while he sang. The association is so strong, that fans everywhere know his work at the sight of this image. The pigment seen on stage was uniform; each song having a different color scheme. The most compelling was an all orange light design with fire shooting up from the base of the stage. After the first few songs, Ozuna brought out an Israeli flag and held it high, followed by his home flag – Puerto Rico. In Spanish, he asked the fans to put out their hands if they knew he cared about their city.
Perhaps the best vocal performance of the evening was Odisea’s “El Farsante,” one of the songs that made him famous. The buildup invited listeners to lose themselves as Ozuna hit the crescendo. “Baila Baila Baila” (in English – Dance Dance Dance) was the high point of the show. Released this year, the song prompted any person who had not previously been dancing onto their feet.
After the final song, “Taki Taki,” originally composed with big-time celebrities Cardi B and Selena Gomez, the show ended rather abruptly and the lights onstage went out. There wasn’t too much of a departure and fans did not clap or call out for an encore as there was for Daddy Yankee, whose onstage performance was clearly more polished. While Ozuna was a hit, the 27-year-old is still only a couple of years into his professional career. The Latin star has been nominated for a Grammy award, won the Latin Artist Award twice and his first album was voted Best Latin Album in 2018, but likely has more shows to produce before he will maximize his onstage capability.
The show left most concert-goers on a high, but fans who dished out more than NIS 500 for Golden Ring tickets (the equivalent of orchestra seats) said they were “squished” and “uncomfortable.”
Those who paid less money had more space to dance and a straight view of the artist without any competition over bobbing heads and hands. Others, on their way to their cars, said the set was a bit short. At an hour and fifteen minutes on stage, listeners wished he’d have given over another half hour of music. A major damper on the evening itself included the bottleneck traffic leaving LivePark, which forced five lanes into one. Cars sat idled for over an hour waiting for vehicles to filter out single file.
The summer series of reggaeton concerts this summer continues on with J Balvin up next week at the same place and the same time. Hopefully, concert goers who experienced Wednesday night’s event will have learned something – take the bus.