Rosalía’s first night in Los Angeles on her triumphant Motomami world tour at the YouTube Theater in Sofi Stadium showed the caliber of a disciplined artist fully immersed in her craft.
There was no opening act for the October 7 concert, nor was there a need to build up enthusiasm—Rosalía is everything. Beginning with the sounds of rupturing motorcycle engines reverberating across the 6,000-seat theater, the unforgettable acoustics alone gave the entire audience goosebumps. Rosalía began by walking onto the stage to her hit “Saoko” with eight dancers wearing neon, white-lit motorcycle helmets amongst pulsating strobe lights in the dark.
“I want to say how much I love L.A. and how happy and grateful I am to be here tonight,” she said. She unravelled her story about the impact of the Southern California urban cityscape and its sounds invoked in her most recent album, Motomami+.
Continuing with “La Fama,” an experimental bachata record in collaboration with The Weeknd, Rosalía sang with the conviction of a storyteller. The artist’s stage featured a minimalistic, white photoshoot backdrop (inspired by art critic Harold Rosenberg’s writings on action painting) where a variation of video cameras are wheeled around the stage and projected live. Rosalía next invited the audience to engage with her as an experiential live recording from the first-person point of view and applications like BeReal and Rosalía’s performances played online.
During “La Noche De Anoche,” her duet with Bad Bunny, in a touching and surprising moment, Rosalía dove into the pit with an iPhone, sharing the microphone with fans as she streamed live. She also played solo with a guitar in hand in “Dolerme” with a purposeful and effective live autotune effect on the hook and solo on a piano for “Hentai.”
As an artist known for bridging the sounds of Reggaeton, Bachata, Electronica, Hip Hop, and Flamenco from her native Spain, Rosalía paid homage to her influences with a throwback medley including Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina,” Glory’s “Acelera,” and “Papi Chulo… te traigo el mmmm” by Lorna. Receiving high praise from the crowd, she also brought out select fans dressed in motorcycle racing garb to join her onstage and dance with her. A big surprise for the audience was the appearance of her blue-haired partner, musical artist Rauw Alejandro, with whom Rosalía finished the set with a kiss.
Whether singing with inflections of flamenco or rapping, Rosalía’s enunciation was impeccable. Her passionate choreography also mixes in eclectic movements spanning gyrating hips to group interactions that recall artist Charles Atlas and choreographer Merce Cunningham’s dance moves assembled to interact with the camera.
The entire show was pure stripped-down simplicity, with unexpected moments of intimacy, including when she gave herself a haircut on a barber chair in the center of the stage and then threw her chopped locks to a beaming public. At her most sensational, Rosalía returned to her first album, singing from Los Ángeles to the backing of a growling rock guitar, her flamenco-infused song “De Plata.”
Rosalía also wore a green-ribbed turtle neck with a black double-buckled skirt developed by Australian fashion designer Dion Lee, keeping the same outfit for the entire evening. “No makeup, no nothing, is when I feel the best,” said Rosalía, a prolific artist in her prime, true to herself, with an urgent message of openness.
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