Sueños Music Festival Day 1: Wisin & Yandel, Feid, Arcángel, Ivy Queen, Chencho Corleone

Sueños Music Festival has returned to Chicago for a Memorial Day weekend extravaganza in Grant Park.

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Festival goers cheer before Ivy Queen’s performance on the first day of Sueños Music Festival on Saturday afternoon in Grant Park.

Thousands of festival goers cheer before Ivy Queen’s performance on the first day of Sueños Music Festival on Saturday afternoon in Grant Park.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Sueños Music Festival in Grant Park kicked off Saturday under sunny skies along the lakefront. In its second iteration, the festival is a celebration of reggaetón and other Latin music genres, presented this year by more than 20 world-renowned artists.

Day 1 saw hundreds of fans dressed in green in honor of Colombian singer Feid (who adopted the color as his trademark), slated to perform in the evening.

Festival goers dance to the music on the first day of Sueños Music Festival.

Festival goers dance to the music on the first day of Sueños Music Festival.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

And Lele, the globetrotting 13-foot doll from Querétaro, Mexico, stood tall across the way from the Sorry Papi lounge — a girls-only lounge where ladies can enjoy services from a beauty bar.

In addition to music, festivalgoers can partake of various food and libations from local food vendors, a Ferris wheel and art booths.

Here are highlights from the first day of Sueños Music Festival:

Wisin & Yandel

Llandel Veguilla Malavé (Yandel) of Wisin & Yandel performs during the duo’s closing set on the first day of Sueños Music Festival in Grant Park on Saturday night.

Llandel Veguilla Malavé (Yandel) of Wisin & Yandel performs during the duo’s closing set on the first day of Sueños Music Festival in Grant Park on Saturday night.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Puerto Rican reggaetón duo Wisin & Yandel returned for a second year of Suenos on Saturday night, emphasizing the importance of celebrating Latin culture through music.

“Back in 2016, something like [Sueños] was impossible,” Wisin said in Spanish. He urged fans to raise their flags and show off their Latino pride. He thanked the audience for their support just before Yandel cut him off.

“These people came here to perrear (twerk),” he said.

The lakefront night air was as cold as the bars they’ve been dropping since the late ’90s. However, because they’ve now performed at Sueños twice, their set was a bit predictable. Although they’ve dropped plenty of music in the last year, both as a duo and as solo artists, the set still fell short on this night.

Juan Luis Morera Luna (Wisin) of Wisin & Yandel performs during the first day of Sueños Music Festival.

Juan Luis Morera Luna (Wisin) of Wisin & Yandel performs during the first day of Sueños Music Festival.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

But, these two are always going to be a fan favorite, and the crowd wasted no time, dancing and singing along to “Ahora Es” The duo even reprised “Pegao” a couple of times to plenty of enthusiasm.

They even remixed some tracks with a familiar beat that most have heard on Jennifer Lopez’s “On The Floor” (which actually comes from the French-Brazilian band Kaoma’s 1989 hit single “Lambada”).

It’s yet to be known if Wisin & Yandel will headline Sueños for a third time. Festival goers don’t seem to be tired of the two; they packed Grant Park from end to end to take in the final set of the night.

Will fest organizers bring some new sounds to the main stage in 2024, or stick to what’s working?

Feid

Feid performs on Day 1 of Sueños Music Festival at Grant Park on Saturday night.

Feid performs on Day 1 of Sueños Music Festival at Grant Park on Saturday night.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

As Feid’s set began on Saturday night at Sueños, the sun was setting and illuminating the clouds with a bright pink hue. Festivalgoers could more clearly see how the city’s skyscrapers, beaming red and white lights, were honoring Memorial Day weekend.

The stage was a sea of trademark Feid green. A monster truck with green detailing was parked on stage while the Colombian rapper wore an Oakland A’s hat with a green rosary stitched on.

He sang from a microphone of the same color. And his fans — decked out in green — finally got the experience they’d been waiting for all day. Some of them wore glasses that read “FERXXO,” the singer’s nickname.

Feid has dominated the Top 10 artist list on Spotify since the start of the year, and as his fans sang along word-for-word to each of his songs, it was easy to understand why.

Off-stage, life is good for Feid, too, as he’s rumored to be dating fellow Colombian singer-songwriter Karol G (making her Lollapalooza debut later this year as the first Latina to headline the mega-fest) after touring with her last year.

In Grant Park, he performed “LA INOCENTE” and “Hey Mor” early on in his set, both of which were collaborations with other Latin artists. (He’s a favorite of other stars of reggaetón and similar genres, especially fellow Colombians Maluma, Sebastián Yatra and J. Balvin.)

Feid closed out what was probably the most energetic set — and the most attended so far — of the night with “Classy 101,” a collaboration with Young Miko, who’s performing on Sunday.

Arcángel performs an early evening set on Day 1 of Sueños Music Festival in Grant Park.

Arcángel performs an early evening set on Day 1 of Sueños Music Festival in Grant Park.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Arcángel

Bringing it back to 2016 — the golden era of Latin trap music — was a smart move by Arcángel during his evening set. With his roots in the Dominican Republic, the New York City-born rapper, singer and songwriter started off his set with the “Ahora Dice” remix and “Diles.”

Everybody knows these hit songs, and for those of us in our 20s, we remember a time before COVID when Arcángel’s music dominated the club scene. The genre has come a long way since gaining popularity several years ago, but Arcángel has always been at the center of it.

Adorned with tons of gold jewelry and a microphone in the shape of a striped snake, Arcángel gave a shout out to all of the fans present who call Chicago home; cold weather is definitely not his thing.

Before diving into “Sigues Con Él,” he referenced the hit song’s lyrics, making sure to point out that ugly men don’t exist. But, he said, men without money in their pockets certainly do! The crowd was full of couples dancing and singing along to every lyric.

Much like Ivy Queen earlier in the day, Arcángel also expressed frustration with his DJ’s technical glitches, but a few blips didn’t get in the way as he took the time to remind fans that he’d be back in town on August 26, and then closing out the set with “La Jumpa.” Fans fist-pumped while the singer danced with and drank from a glass that appeared to hold champagne.

Chencho Corleone

Chencho Corleone performs on the first day of Sueños Music Festival on Saturday afternoon.

Chencho Corleone performs on the first day of Sueños Music Festival on Saturday afternoon.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

He was almost unrecognizable thanks to the denim bucket hat that covered his trademark bowl cut, but once rapper Chencho Corleone started his set on Saturday afternoon, it was very clear who was on that massive stage in Grant Park.

Corleone’s voice is definitely one-of-a-kind. His vocals — alluring and melodic — perfectly frame his distinctly Puerto Rican accent, which endears him even more to his devoted fans.

From Guayama, Puerto Rico, Corleone is one-half of the now-defunct reggaetón duo Plan B that produced classics like “Guatauba,” “Candy” and “¿Por Qué Te Demoras?”

Corleone couldn’t leave Sueños without performing the first single off of his upcoming solo album due later this year. He didn’t reveal the song’s title, but we’ll know soon enough. This follows the success of his first solo track, “Un Cigarrillo” — which he used to open up his Sueños set.

Up until this point, he’d always been on Plan B songs with his cousin Maldy or as a featured artist. He’s worked with Rauw Alejandro, ROSALÍA and Chris Jedi.

Fans went crazy for his verse on “Me Porto Bonito” — a song from Bad Bunny’s 2022 album “Un Verano Sin Ti.” Corleone cut the music and let fans finish the lyrics to this one, and there wasn’t a single person not singing along.

Chencho Corleone performs on the massive stage at Sueños Music Festival at Grant Park on Saturday afternoon.

Chencho Corleone performs on the massive stage at Sueños Music Festival at Grant Park on Saturday afternoon.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Ivy Queen

Ivy Queen performs on the first day of Sueños Music Festival on Saturday afternoon in Grant Park.

Ivy Queen performs on the first day of Sueños Music Festival on Saturday afternoon in Grant Park.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Ivy Queen never disappoints — even when the sound guys can’t seem to get it together.

The Puerto Rican rapper-songwriter proved the point Saturday during her afternoon set.

She’s referred to by many as the Queen of Reggaetón, and solidly claimed her space as a woman in the male-dominated industry by the early 2000s after embarking on a solo career.

In Grant Park, she stepped onto the stage sporting red from head to toe, looking almost as if she’d just dropped in from outer space — her gold nails and knee-high boots all part of her iconic style mix.

At 51, she’s been a part of the scene in Puerto Rico for longer than some festivalgoers have been alive. But that doesn’t matter, because everyone knew the words to “Te He Querido, Te He Llorado,” “La Vida Es Así” and “Toma,” which debuted at Billboard Latin Women in Music 2023 earlier this month.

Ivy made sure to wish a fan a happy 24th birthday before continuing on with her remix of Bad Bunny’s “Yo Perreo Sola,” which she dedicated to all of the single women in the audience.

And despite the spate of technical difficulties that very visibly ticked her off, Ivy Queen wrapped up her set with what’s probably her most famous song, “Quiero Bailar.”

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