Rosalía closed the North and South American legs of her Motomami tour on Friday (April 28) with a free concert in Mexico City’s Zócalo, and the moment was so emotional for the Spanish superstar that she couldn’t hold back the tears.
“Mexico, I want you to know that I’m very grateful for the love you have given me since the beginning of my career. And I want you to know that there has been a lot of inspiration for many years; I studied songs like ‘La Llorona’. Let’s see if I get the tone”, said the singer in front of 160,000 people, which was the largest gathering — according to figures from the Mexican government — in the country’s most important public plaza. Rosalía then began to sing a fragment of the storied song that originated in the Oaxaca region in southern Mexico and was popularized by the late legendary singer Chavela Vargas.
Rosalía’s Zócalo show caused so much anticipation that some young fans began camping out a day early to be the first to enter the square, which is the second largest in the world after Tiananmen in Beijing.
For many attendees, it was their first experience of a live concert by “La Rosalía”, but they openly danced to songs like “Saoko”, “Despechá” and “Bizcochito” as if they were veterans.
Since the announcement of the show on April 10 by the Head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, the event had remained controversial as it was designated for electoral purposes since the mayoress aspires to be a candidate in the 2024 presidential election.
But the Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning singer’s record label, Sony Music, and promoter Ocesa, clarified that Rosalía did not charge a fee for her performance at the Zócalo.
“The singer, songwriter, producer, and global icon is excited to present this show, which is part of a long-standing tradition in Mexico City where massive concerts are offered to promote culture and entertainment free of charge,” Ocesa said Thursday in a statement.
In a recent interview with the Spanish newspaper El País, Claudia Curiel, Mexico City’s Secretary of Culture, revealed that Rosalía’s concert in the Zócalo took a year of negotiations with the artist’s team.
Musicians such as Paul McCartney, Justin Bieber, Pixies, Manu Chao, Shakira, Café Tacvba, and the late regional Mexican music icon Vicente Fernández, among many others, have performed at the Zócalo.
The record for attendance at free concerts held in what is known as Primer Cuadro of the Mexican capital is held by Grupo Firme, which brought together 280,000 people last September, according to Mexico City government figures.
The North and South American leg of the Motomami World Tour included countries such as the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, as well as their historic performance at the Coachella festival in Indio, California.