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Juanes gets a lot of help from his friends

Orpheum Theatre, Boston, April 28, 2018

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Juanes did not have much backing vocal help from his own quartet - only the keyboardist, and he was not particularly prominent when it came to singing. But this was one of those nights that the Colombian rocker did not need backing vocals in house. After all, he had more than 2,500 of his faithful singing along gleefully in song after song after song.

That should have been no surprise given the length and breadth of Juanes' career. As if to prove the strength of his catalogue, Juanes began with his 2002 megahit "A Dios le Pido" ("I Beg God"). Like most of Juanes' songs, it's got a great beat (guasca), and it's an easy sing-along. Plus it is redolent with the message of peace. Call "A Dios Le Pido" an excellent table setter for what lay ahead.

Some artists would conclude a show with a hit like this. Juanes thought he didn't need to.

He proved himself correct during a crisp, hits-laden 90-minute show also pushing his latest release, that underscored why Juanes has aged well.

Charismatic and easily engaging the crowd, Juanes has a voice that that has always been easy on the ears. It's smooth, but vibrant. He infused the songs with emotion time after time.

That was most obvious on the first encore song, "Volverte a Ver" ("See You Again"). The 2005 chestnut was recorded as a ballad that goes into pop rock territory. But on this night, it was just Juanes and his acoustic guitarist, giving an even more tender reading. "Volverte a Ver" was probably the most reworked song of the night and a change well done.

The newer material generally fared well with Juanes playing 11 of 12 songs from his last year's, "Mis Planes Son Amarte," the story of a Colombian astronaut in search of eternal love. A few songs were more of the middling variety, but the new material compared favorably to his hits.

He showcased the latter with the one-two punch of "Camisa Negra' and "Me Enamora" to close his regular set.

The encore found Juanes delving into a few different sides from the past ("Volverte a Ver") to a Juan Gariel cover with "Querida," which the two sang on in 2014, and the more recent uptempo "La Luz."

No surprise that the crowd ate it all up because Juanes demonstrated that he deserved their support.