review | nathy peluso live in madrid

Enthralling drums and neon lights engulf Argentina-born, Spain-raised singer Nathy Peluso as she makes her grand entrance in Madrid’s Wizink Center for the culmination of her Calambre tour on December 10, 2022. After taking the show on the road across the majority of Spain, Europe, Latin and North America, including major festivals like Coachella, Sónar and Mad Cool, her final tour night was aptly renamed El Último Calambre (The Last Shock). Peluso, who has made a reputation for herself as a disrupter and provocateur, emerges on stage clad in a skin-tight leotard and silver chrome bodysuit. The ensemble feels futuristic and retro at the same time, matching the atmosphere of the show. The artiste kicks off the show with heartfelt Celebré, then a rock version of Sana Sana, and finally Buenos Aires, an ode to the city where she was born. The op​​ening trio of tracks mirror that of her debut album, Calambre, which earned Peluso the Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 2021. 

Throughout the show, Peluso takes more than one chance to interact with the crowd. The fourth track on the setlist, Puro Veneno, immediately transforms the atmosphere as salsa beats fill the arena and the singer throws roses into the crowd. On stage, Peluso exudes energy — arguably sometimes a bit too much of it to the detriment of her vocals — but overall she makes up for it with redeeming adlibs. In terms of production value, El Último Calambre is not lavish by any means. Peluso is accompanied by her trusty band, but it still feels like a one-woman show — perhaps because it’s difficult to take your eyes off her. A standout highlight of the night was Peluso’s cover of Daddy Yankee’s smash hit La Despedida before dialing up the bachata with Ateo (sans C.Tangana) and fan-favourite Mafiosa

Later in the show, the singer performs Arroró, a short lullaby-inspired track that almost serves as an interlude. Aided by two mics, one fully equipped with auto-tune, Peluso harmonises with herself, momentarily transforming the arena into a cathedral. Peluso uses the quiet atmosphere to segue into a cover of Viernes 3 AM, originally by Argentinian group Serú Girán, which she dedicates to “everyone that’s ever lost someone important.” The tender moment doesn’t last long, as boudoir red lights usher in yet another mood change to introduce her latest release, Estás Buenísimo, followed by a rock rendition of one of her most viral hits, BZRP Music Sessions #36. The song is an instant crowd pleaser as Peluso now dons a Matrix-esque coat and plays a short remix of 50 Cent’s Candy Shop and Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On. Why? No clue but the audience loves it. To close her tour, Peluso hits the trifecta of Delito, Business Woman and Emergencia only to end on an oldie but a goodie: the trappy breakup song Corashe. After a disco dance send-off she exits the stage, coming back only to perform her rendition of Camilo Sesto’s 1978 hit Vivir así es morir de amor, and offers one last bow with her band. 2022 is done for the star.

El Último Calambre might be the grand finale of Nathy Peluso’s current era, but it’s a first as much as it is a last. The occasion marked the first time the singer performed in Madrid’s famed Wizink Center, formerly also known as Palacio de Los Deportes, an arena that has housed the likes of Nirvana, Queen, Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, and, more recently, Rosalía. It wasn’t quite a full house — some of the top-level floors were curtained off, though non-seated general admission was packed. However, you couldn’t tell that from the loud crowd. According to The New York Times, Peluso briefly supported herself as a street performer in Madrid not long ago. Going from that to playing one of the city’s most iconic venues, no matter the capacity, truly feels like a full-circle moment.

photography. Cristina Cañedo, courtesy of Frazes Creative
talent. Nathy Peluso
words. Sara Delgado

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