By Simón Posada (from Bogotá) | @univisiontrends
The Rolling Stones had a big-time debt to Colombia dating back at least thirty years. This evening, before an audience of about fifty thousand people, they finally made their debut at the El Campín Stadium in Bogotá.
As if that were not enough, the legendary band, led by Mick Jagger, introduced onstage the Colombian singer Juanes, saying, “We have for you a surprise from a mate we really love.”
Fact is, for almost four decades, dozens of politicians and businessmen have tried to bring the Stones here. Urban legends circulated that drug trafficker Carlos Lehder had once brought them over to give a private concert at his hacienda. This is completely false, as has been corroborated countless times by Mónica Lehder, the drug lord’s daughter.
On Thursday, the Stones resolved their debt to Colombia many times over, despite the rain that began to fall on the audience starting in late afternoon.
In addition to a set for all ages and tastes, Juanes’s appearance on stage was the evening’s best-kept secret. For those who hate him, as well as for those who love him, Juanes' appearance is a surprise worth analyzing.
Why did a long-time follower of Metallica – “the best band in the whole fucking world,” as he said when presenting them with the MTV 2008 Awards in Mexico – get up on stage with the Rolling Stones at the longest-awaited concert in Colombia’s history?
1- Juanes is known worldwide
First of all, among Colombia’s rock artists, he is the hardest rocking, and he has made it to the very top. His duet with Tony Bennett, with the song “Shadow of Your Smile” on the CD “Duets: An American Classic” in 2006, gave a boost to his work in the Hispanic world in the United States. He also wrote “ Juntos” [together], created for the sound track of McFarland, the Disney movie about the success of some children of immigrant parents on a track and field team.
2- He made history in Cuba
What’s more, his concert at Plaza de la Revolución in Havana in 2009, with more than a million attending, became news worldwide, making him the envy of the music world, including the Rolling Stones, who will headed to Cuba for the first time on March 25 for a free concert.
3- An influential manager
Juanes' manager is one of the most powerful women in the world of Latino music, Rebeca León, VP of Latin Talent, AEG Live/Golden Voice, with a string of concert box office successes in the United States. León organized seven sold outs for the Mexican rock band Maná at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
4- First at the UN, and then at Victoria’s Secret
Juanes performed at the UN on World Humanitarian Day in 2015. In addition to that, he was also present at a special bathing suit show at Victoria’s Secret in April of that same year, and he began 2016 with a very moving duet with John Legend across from an immigrant detention center in Arizona.
5- Everything stays at home
Let’s not forget that the promotional firm AEG Live is in charge of the Rolling Stones’ Latin American tour, which has been given the name “América Latina Olé Tour 2016.” This is the same firm where Juanes’s manager, Rebeca León, is Vice President.
That’s how things are. Whoever doubts that Juanes is one of the best representatives of Latino rock in the world ought to ask Mick Jagger after what has taken place this evening in Bogotá.