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Will Smith Joins J. Balvin at Coachella for ‘Men in Black’ Performance


Will Smith made a surprise appearance on stage with J.Balvin Sunday night, dressed in his full “Men in Black” costume and sunglasses and performing the title song from the 1997 film. The appearance was brief but memorable, closing out a UFO-themed set and ending with Balvin being dragged by dancers in black costumes as Smith pulled out a “Neuralyzer,” the film’s famous memory-wiping device.

Balvin returned for another song, however, and rocked energetically through a rousing version of his hit “In Da Ghetto” with his troupe of dancers, dressed in comically stereotypical alien costumes, green with big black eyes.

Balvin’s concerts are always very thematic and the interstellar theme was present throughout. It opened with a 1950s newsreel simulation of an alien invasion (in English, with Spanish subtitles), eventually revealing that the alien was…Balvin, who then stood up on a platform below the stage, beneath a giant UFO that looked like a cross between the evil spaceship from the movie “Nope,” a pointer from a Ouija board and a padded toilet seat. His troupe of ace dancers soon joined him on stage, appearing in a series of alien-like costumes and performing supernatural moves as Balvin, dressed first in a spacesuit-like outfit, then in a full-silver, sequinned suit (and with a shiny grill, he flashed often) has soared through his hits, starting with 2018’s global hit “Mi Gente” and following with many more; he addressed the audience primarily in Spanish, but often followed in English, and his songs contained samples of familiar hits like “Yeah!” » by Usher. and Cardi B’s “I Love It.”

The stage was huge but uncluttered, lit in whites and grays at first, but gradually introduced more colors and interstellar visuals, and by the end it featured glorious galaxies and stars and wild lighting treatments.

Balvin is no stranger to Coachella — in fact, his stunning 2019 set largely launched Latin music’s big presence at the festival, with a visually explosive, career-spanning set that included not only his global hit “Mi Gente,” but also guest spots guests of Rosalia and Sean. Paul, as well as a medley tribute to the “OGs” of reggaeton with covers of songs like the hit “Oye Mi Canto” by NORE and Daddy Yankee in 2006 and the smash “Gasolina” by Yankee in 2004. Balvin also paid tribute to Nicky Jam’s “X” and Prince Royce’s “Sensualidad,” and covered Cardi B’s “I Like It.” While Cardi and fellow featured artist Bad Bunny didn’t join him on stage, Balvin was accompanied by something that was arguably even more entertaining: dancers carrying hilarious giant caricature heads of both characters, Cardi’s with an extended tongue; Balvin danced with her during part of the song.

Also performing that year were Bad Bunny, Rosalía, Chilean singer Mon Laferte and regional Mexican titans Tucanes de Tijuana. At the end of his set, Balvin expressed how proud he was to hear so much Spanish spoken on stages at Coachella, even though it’s certainly become a familiar sound over the years.


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