A rocket ship with “El Bloke” written over it was aimed at the stars Friday for the first concert of Sech’s three-night, sold-out stand at San Juan, Puerto Rico’s massive Coliseo, known to locals as El Choli. The venue — known for being the stomping ground for reggaeton, Latin music’s biggest genre — was about to be graced by Panama’s most popular artist, whose ballads and surprise performances would captivate the 18,000 attendees throughout the night.
With every seat filled and an emotional and powerful Sech at centerstage, his debut at El Choli was a night of passion and sensuality, as the crowd echoed the lyrics of his tracks. Sech, “the Dreamer,” is letting the world know he is here to stay.
Reggaeton is among the sexiest genres in the world, but its exponential rise was not without contest. Previously shamed by some for its pornographic lyrical style and outlandish parallels to street life, the genre is now recognized for its rightful political influence and infectious melodies. Throughout reggaeton’s 30-year evolution, three themes have been consistent: romanticism, the street, and sex. Sech sees his music as an extension of Panama’s initial contributions to the genre’s origins.
Purple smoke filled the stage and the thunder of the crowd vibrated through Puerto Rico’s famed stadium as Sech took the stage at the grand piano. Sporting a classic jean-and-tee ensemble complimented by a Gucci scarf, the epic night began with a light version of his sing “Otro Trago,” which topped Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs in 2019. The energy quickly picked up as he was joined by Darell on stage to transform their reggaeton hit into an EDM sensation.
Toying with the vibe of the crowd, the arena went dark, and the spotlight narrowed on Sech as he swiftly transitioned into a solo, harmonious rendition of his “Que Mas Pues.” Backstage prior to the show, he predicted a night of serendipity: “I really make music because my priority is to assure that people have a good time, enjoy, sing, dance, without thinking about many things.” That served as perfect foreshadowing as he took stans through the emotions, alternating between tracks that celebrated love lost, including “Uniforme” with a surprise guest, R&B and reggaeton sensation De La Ghetto. The two yo-yoed across the four points of the stage, calling for the attention of “all of the single women,” complimented by timed pyrotechnics.
The high-class production assured that Sech’s story was present continuously throughout the concert, with his breaks offstage meticulously balanced with clips from his 42 album documentary. Sech is dedicated to amplifying the themes in his music, in this iconic three-day performance and beyond. “I see so many things that are currently happening in the world or that happen to my friends or that happen to me in Veracruz [Panama], and I use that in my messaging to assure others have something to feel identified with,” he tells Rolling Stone.
Country-wide, in certain Panamanian schools, students are required to learn to play instruments and to participate in the November Independence Day parades. Although Sech learned his drumming abilities through his religious roots, the drum set he presented during the battle was an ode to Panamanian musical experience.
Couples were perreando hasta abajo, grinding to the floor — as much of his music called for. It was a solid two hours of constant movement, and there was a moment for everybody — men, women, single or taken — to feel included, but the fun didn’t stop there. Sech was later accompanied by a powerful performance with new-school hitmaking sensation Mora. The highlight of the night was another surprise guest appearance by fellow Panamanians Mach & Daddy, who brought their cultural phenomena “Pasame La Botella.” The crowd out-sang the stars on stage as the country’s red, white, and blue flags were on full display.
After all the sexy dance moves, heartbroken lyrics, special guests, and fire effects, Sech ended the night with his biggest hit yet, “Sal Y Perrea.” “As a dreamer, I would love to headline the Super Bowl and do other big things at a grand scale,” he told RS backstage. The three-night stand in San Juan was a testament of the innovative trendsetter Sech is, and the blueprint for what is next to come.