I’ve always wanted to see J. Balvin perform I’m a huge fan. I’ve wanted to go since I first heard 6AM back in 2013. When I heard he was going to be at Echostage in DC on October 3rd, 2015 I got my ticket. Unbeknownst to be at the time was that I was approved to study abroad in Portugal and I would have to travel and miss the concert. So, I missed the concert and shortly after J. Balvin blew up. Since then for every tour he’s had I’ve been out of town or out of the country.
This year when he released his tour dates and I realized I would be in town and I had a “treat yourself” moment and blew $450 for the Meet and Greet experience. Let me just say I have never done a meet and greet before. So naturally I was super excited, and I did not know what to expect. As the date of the concert grew closer, I became more nervous. Why? I don’t know. I even had nightmares I was late and missed the meet and greet so I would check my phone and the ticket to make sure nothing had changed.
I also started thinking about a cute outfit that would stand out because I like to be extra at times and in this case I wanted J. Balvin to notice me. So, I decided to make my own shirt. I had an idea of what I wanted. I wanted to have rainbows, his name, hearts, his signature energia smiley, and a huge eye. I wanted all those elements to be sparkly and sewn onto a mesh dress. If you know anything about sowing, you know it’s hard to sow mesh it’s also super delicate and hard to do iron-ons. I knew this but I accepted the challenge.
With the help of my favorite seamstress and aunt (Hi Mami Vita) yet again we accomplished designing the shirt I had in mind. In case you’re wondering it took a little over two hours to make and about $150 dollars. The mesh shirt was super cheap it was $15 from forever 21. What was costly were the designs.
The day of the concert. I finished work early. Got my make-up done my Vanessa, did my hair, changed into my outfit and ubered to Eagle Bank Arena in VA. I was there at 6:00pm. The e-mail I received stated that if we arrived after 6:45pm we would not be able to participate in the meet and greet so I made sure I was ON TIME. I checked in and walked around. Everyone was complimenting my shirt and asking where I bought it. I felt so happy I could say I made it. I proceeded to get in line. I had gone to the concert alone. So, the first twenty minutes were super long. Luckily, I’m good at starting conversations and befriended the couple behind me.
They were super nice and had their five-year-old he was adorable to say the least. Shortly after, the event staff let us know it was time to go to the meet and greet it was about 7:30PM. We were all super excited. I got on Instagram to see if J. Balvin had posted anything… He had just got on his plane from NY to DC…
After waiting for forever and missing the opening acts we saw the staff start to hustle. By that time, it was 9PM. The line started moving. I saw a little sheet move. It was J fucking Balvin. I froze. He walked right past me and all I could do was stare. Then the staff let us know we could not use our phone for pictures and had to leave our bags on a table for the picture. We could acces our photos the next day through the link in the e-mail they had sent us earlier that week.
When it got closer to my turn, I was trying to be calm and be normal. I wanted to ask him if he like the shirt or tell him I loved him. But when my turn came, they took the picture in less than a second and shouted next. I was too start-struck and 5 seconds was not enough for my little brain to process this. So I didn’t say a thing.
I made my way upstairs and found my seat. I was in the third row. Again, I made new friends- two Bolivian chicks who sat next to me. They were amazing. They too asked me about my shirt. I told them I made it and we both talked about how the meet and greet sucked.
Let me just clarify that I LOVE J Balvin and the fact that I was able to give him a hug and I am in no way trying to say this was his fault. I just think that in general meet and greets should be a little different. Especially if you have fans paying a large amount of money.
Oh and while I’m talking about things I don’t like… I was mad at the fact that “radio personalities” that often don’t have to pay for the meet and greet get privileges the paying fans don’t. For example, they were able to get more than one picture/ video and use their phones. I’m still mad about that. So ya’ll don’t pay and get privileges? LOL ok.
Anyway. For those of you who follow me on Instagram… you may have seen that I did something crazy.
So, what was I thinking when I decided to take my shirt off and throw it?
I wasn’t. It was pure impulse. The girls next to me kept hyping me up and encouraging me. They said he had to see my shirt. After thinking about it and thinking how I failed to get his attention at the meet and greet I thought “fuck it.”
So I took my shirt off and remained in my bra. I handed the shirt to a guy in the front row and asked him to please throw it. He did. It flew right past J. Balvin’s face. As you can see in the video he was confused. He knew someone was shirtless in the audience. He asked whose it was. They all pointed at me. We had a moment.
This was by far one of the best concerts I’ve been to. It was a production. Not only that but he took time to recognize the importance of mental health, how difficult it is for some- for many people who are immigrants. That meant so much to me. He remained humble and wasn’t scared to talk about these things. It also made a little more since because he did seem a bit out of it. Truly I felt for him.
was the meet and greet worth it? NO Would I do it again? Probably.
What a fun story! It reminds me a bit of when I met Keanu Reeves. It was back in 2000 and he was touring with his band Dogstar at the time. I had heard on the radio that Dogstar would be signing autographs at a Coconuts record store in Manhattan, so I took the train in from New Jersey and stood in the very long line to meet KEANU. This was a year after The Matrix so it was pretty trippy to meet him. The record store staff were rude and said no one was allowed to speak to or touch Keanu. When I got up to him, I just stared like a lunatic. He said, “hello, miss” and put out his hand for me to shake. I shook his hand and said “it’s surreal meeting you”. So dumb. But anyway, he was nice and he DID speak to me and touch me, so the record store people were wrong. Haha. It’s a good memory.
Oh by the way, I came across your story because I was googling J Balvin. He’s my cousin. His dad and my mom are brother and sister. I last saw Jose (I called him Alvarito then) back in 1996 when he was close to turning 11. He had so much confidence and swagger for a little boy. I grew up in New Jersey so I didn’t spend much time in Colombia. I had also met him when he was a year old back in 1986 on a visit to Medellin. Anyway, I’ve tried myself to see him when he’s been performing stateside but I can never make it happen. His PR people and management won’t return a single email/text/tweet/etc. I’ve tried to get my uncle’s help as well, but since he’s not his manager anymore, it’s difficult. So you’re luckier than me that you’ve had a chance to see him! Haha!
Thanks for the cute story.