Sueños Music Festival 2022 reviews, Day 2: Sech, Jhay Cortez, Wisin y Yandel, J. Balvin

The second day of the first-ever reggaetón festival in Grant Park drew tens of thousands of fans.

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Sueños Music Festival ended on Sunday night with a performance by J. Balvin.

Sueños Music Festival ended on Sunday night with a performance by J. Balvin.

Kate Scott/for the Sun-Times

The crowds in Grant Park were huge on Sunday, as more than 50,000 people gathered for the second day of the first-ever Sueños Music Festival.

With Puerto Rican reggaetón veterans Wisin Y Yandel performing and J. Balvin set to close out the fest, the sweltering heat really made it feel like the tropics.

Tens of thousands of fans engaged in familiar reggaeton “perreo” (“dirty dancing”) in Grant Park proved that Latin America’s infectious energy is touching every corner of the globe.

Perhaps next year’s Sueños Music Festival — should organizers decide on its return — will come back bigger, better and even more exciting.

Here are some reviews of the closing day sets:

Sech

Panamanian rapper Sech played Sunday’s Sueños Music Festival.|

Panamanian rapper Sech played Sunday’s Sueños Music Festival.|

“Chicago is having a damn good night,” the 28-year-old Panamanian singer reflected after opening with a few of his biggest hits.

He brought a Panamanian flag out and mad sure he gave a warm welcome to the crowd before going into the “Loco Contigo” remix, which features Nicky Jam, Darell,Sech, and more, including J. Balvin, who performed later in the night.

Sech is undeniably a remix king. If a popular song from the Latin American music charts is going to get remixed, you can almost always bet that Sech will be on it.

His “Otro Trago” remix off his 2019 album “Sueños” was popular among fans as was “Ignorantes” from Bad Bunny’s 2020 album “YHLQMDLG.” On this track, Sech and his guitarist remind us it’s okay to slow down and rock out just a little bit before the beat drops.

The Panamanian superstar definitely delivered a solid set of his signature catchy, and danceable music.

Jhayco

Jhayco (Jhay Cortez) played one of the most energetic sets of the weekend at Sueños Music Festival on Sunday.|

Jhayco (Jhay Cortez) played one of the most energetic sets of the weekend at Sueños Music Festival on Sunday.|

Kate Scott/for the Sun-Times

Born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, Jhay Cortez — who now goes by Jhayco — started making music at 11 years old. By 16 he was selling tracks to other artists and making a name for himself.

Thirteen years later he’s one of the most popular Latino music artists in the world. Opening up with “Medusa” was a great decision, as its about flexing his money, fame and followers. “DAKITI” and “No Me Conoce” featuring Bad Bunny on both tracks, were definitely crowd favorites.

“I want to see all of Chicago dancing,” Jhayco told the crowd, which grew bigger and bigger as time went on. From his glasses to his shoes, he was dripping in bright green.

Released in March, “Sensual Bebé,” is one of Jhayco’s most popular songs (it’s in the Top 100 in Puerto Rico), and fans got a real treat with this live performance.

Jhayco’s drummer Alexis Mangual played with a ton of gusto, reminding us why live music can be amazing. Drums are the heart and soul of any good set, especially when it comes to Latin music.

Wisin Y Yandel

Winsin & Yandel played Suenos Music Festival on Sunday evening.|

Winsin & Yandel played Suenos Music Festival on Sunday evening.|

Kate Scott/for the Sun-Times

It’s safe to say that these two are legends when it comes to reggaetón.

One fan cried as she held a sign letting the old-school reggaetoneros know that she’d been a fan of theirs since 2004. Her feelings for them reflect those of the many of us who grew up listening to Wisin Y Yandel with friends and family. Noting the many Mexican flags on display in the audience, Wisin remarked “Wow, there are so many Mexicans in Chicago!”

They dedicated their set to playing plenty of their classics, including “Ahora Es” and “Si Superias.” The two were lively and passionate in front of their thousands of fans who matched their energy.

The duo gave the first year of the festival undeniable credibility. Reggaetón would not be what it is today without the two as they have paved the way for so many other artists from Puerto Rico. Almost every popular singer, songwriter, or rapper coming from the island in 2022 will undoubtedly name Wisin Y Yandel as one of their influences.

J. Balvin

Seems like everytime he plays Chicago, J Balvin is part of a history-making moment.

The last time J. Balvin peformed in Grant Park was for Lollapalooza 2019 when he made history as the first Latino to ever headline the iconic music festival.

The Colombian superstar returned to the park on Sunday night for the history-making Sueños, and he did not disappoint.

Opening with his hit song “Mi Gente,” he immediately had the crowds going wild. He’s got great stage presence and loves to dance. He fed off the energy of the fans who were directly in front of him, cheering him on as he busted a move. He also made sure to shout out his fellow Colombians in the audience who were waving the country’s flags.

Continuing the set, he performed “Con Altura,” which features the Spanish flamenco singer Rosalía (who was also at Lollapalooza in 2019), and sang his heart out on “Bonita” and “QUE PRETENDES” before slowing it down a bit on “La Canción,” which came off of the 2019 album “Oasis,” on which he collaborated with Bad Bunny. The slower jam is about being out, trying to have a good time to forget about your ex — until the DJ puts on that song. For many of their fans, “La Canción” is that song.

J. Balvin’s set marked the end of the first Sueños Fest in Grant Park, May 29, 2022. | Kate Scott/for the Sun-Times

J. Balvin’s set marked the end of the first Sueños Music Festival in Grant Park.|

Kate Scott/for the Sun-Times

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