One of the most anticipated returns in Latin pop music history happened last night as RBD kicked off their Soy Rebelde Tour. When Anahi, Dulce Maria, Maite Perroni, Christopher von Uckermann, and Christian Chavez stepped on stage for their first live concert in 15 years, they were greeted by a roar from the 30,000-plus fans inside the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas.
“Hola Rebeldes!” Anahi enthusiastically shouted to welcome their fans – many of whom have followed them since their iconic novela Rebelde hit the airwaves in the mid-2000s.
If the emotions in the crowd were high, then the singers’ were in another dimension. The faces of almost disbelief, as if they had not been asked hundreds of times for a reunion since they broke up in 2008, were visible from the moment their massive screen opened up to give them their first glance at the audience. Holding hands with massive grins on their faces and tears in their eyes, RBD went straight into their hit single ‘Tras De Mi,’ which made the stadium rumble.
“It is difficult to explain what we are feeling at this moment,” Christopher said in their first address to the fans. “After so many years, together again.” To which Dulce added, “Today, we prove that even as years pass, the reality is that love trespasses distance and time. Thank you for remembering us. Thank you for not forgetting us. Thank you for never stopping dreaming, and here we are after 15 years close to you!”
Fans from all over the world including Brazil, Spain, and, of course, Mexico descended upon West Texas all dressed up in their Rebelde uniforms: the iconic white button-up, jeans, and red tie ensemble present everywhere you looked. Others sported the pink cowboy hat and silver-star sticker on the forehead made famous by Anahi.
“I would watch Rebelde when I was 10 years old,” a fan that traveled all the way from Sao Paulo (where they will be performing six shows later this fall) told us. “I can’t stop crying because this was my childhood. I had to be here for the first night.”
‘Un Poco De Tu Amor,’ ‘Aun Hay Algo,’ and ‘Otro Dia Que Va’ came right after their first number. While their most well-known songs make up most of the setlist, this is more of a trip down memory lane than a greatest hits tour. At times, they dove deeper into their catalog to perform non-singles such as ‘Fuego,’ ‘Futuro Ex-Novio,’ and ‘Dame’ during medleys in the show.
Their high-end production complemented what was happening on stage with moving graphics of their old album covers and clips from the novela. They also performed their newest singles ‘Cerquita De Ti’ and ‘Siempre He Estado Aqui,’ which fans sang at the top of their lungs as if they were from earlier in their career.
The pace of the 2 hour and 30 minute show was well managed. All five members – Alfonso Herrera opted not to participate in the reunion – had their moment in the spotlight. Solos were scattered throughout the show. Christopher was up first as he performed a brilliant rendition of ‘Inalcanzable,’ which one could argue was a highlight of the show. He tried to say some words right after but choked up, teary-eyed and simply nodded at the crowd.
Dulce Maria took on the evocative ‘No Pares,’ which she shared has helped her at many low points in her life. Maite, who looked stunning considering she gave birth just a couple of months ago, danced around the stage to the bubbly, fun ‘Empezar Desde Cero.’
Christian did a mash-up of ‘Quisiera Ser’ and ‘I Wanna Be The Rain.’ A lot has changed in the world since the last time the group toured. The way Christian talked, dressed, and danced so freely, being exactly who he is, was very noticeable last night.
Right after his performance, the Texas native gave a short speech about his outing in 2007 and urged fans to do what’s right when it comes to the LGBT+ community – even calling out the state’s governor.
“It’s time to stand together,” he said. “No one will separate us. No one will silence us. Love yourself for who you are.” He then added: “Sorry Greg Abbott, it’s not gonna happen.”
Lastly, closer to the end of the show, it was Anahi’s turn to shine. It was time for ‘Salvame,’ one of the most emblematic ballads in Mexican pop music history. A song that fans anxiously waited for all night. When it was evident that it was time for Anahi to belt it out, the entire stadium eagerly awaited with their phones out to capture this special moment.
Anahi emerged from under the stage with the aforementioned pink cowboy hat; this one dazzled in sparkles. For such an iconic song, you would expect the original version. Instead, they opted for a different more gospel-like arrangement, similar to the one they did for their one-off 2020 pandemic virtual performance. While it did take a little away from the moment, it did not stop fans from singing each note at the top of their lungs. Anahi was so amazed that she let them have it, kneeling down and simply taking it all in. She appeared shaken, almost shocked afterwards – in a good way.
Intertwined with those solo moments were some other standouts from their discography. ‘Enseñame,’ ‘Este Corazon,’ and ‘Besame Sin Miedo’ were all well-received. The latter turned the massive backdrop into a fan kiss cam. ‘Solo Quedate En Silencio’ and ‘Nuestro Amor’ also brought fans back to the peak of RBD’s storied career.
‘Rebelde,’ the generation-defining theme song of the TV show, was appropriately saved for last. Mannequins were brought on stage with the infamous red coat from the Elite Way School as well as the symbolic red ties. All five members stepped up to them and put them on together in sync à la Michael Jackson putting on his sequin glove on his tours.
‘Do you know it?’ Anahi asked rhetorically before singing the first verse. Fans screamed and cried the words to the song; It felt like a celebration of an artist-to-fan connection that not many performers have. Pyrotechnics and confetti enhanced the euphoric ending of the long-awaited first night of RBD’s world tour.
The Soy Rebelde Tour continues in the US with shows in Houston, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, and other cities before heading to Latin America. Click here for a full list of dates.
1 – Tras de Mi
2 – Un Poco de Tu Amor
3 – Cerquita de Ti
4 – Aun Hay Algo
5 – Otro Dia Que Va
6 – Medley (Asi Soy Yo, Cuando El Amor Se Acaba, Fuego)
7 – Inalcanzable
8 – Medley (Tenerte y Quererte, Me Voy, Dame, Y No Puedo Olvidarte, Para Olvidarte de Mi)
9 – Enseñame
10 – Que Hay Detrás
11 – Quisiera Ser / I Wanna Be The Rain
12 – Celestial
13 – Besame Sin Miedo
14 – Ser O Parecer
15 – Medley (Futuro Ex Novio e Que Fue Del Amor)
16 – No Pares
17 – Este Corazón
18 – Siempre He Estado Aquí
19 – Empezar Desde Cero
20 – Medley (Una Canción, A Tu Lado, Quizá e Adiós)
21 – Solo Quédate En Silencio
22 – Sálvame
23 – Nuestro Amor
24 – Rebelde