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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

How Karol G’s Tour is Helping Fans Heal Heartbreak

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Over two nights in Southern California, Colombian singer Karol G not only celebrated a historic achievement but was also able to provide a therapy session to the 120,000 fans that converged on the Rose Bowl Friday and Saturday nights.

This week, Karol G became the first Latina to get a Spanish-language album to No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart with “Mañana Será Bonito.” Her tour, by the same name, also includes her new album, “Mañana Será Bonito (Bichota Season),” which was released days prior to her first show in Santa Clara. The album features artists Peso Pluma, Kali Uchis, Young Miko and more.

Nicole Moriel and her sister Grisel Moriel outside the Rose Bowl before Karol G’s show Friday. (J. Emilio Flores / De Los)

Before the show, fans were eager to share their stories of heartbreak and the recovery that Karol G’s songs helped provide.

When“Gucci Los Paños” plays in the car, Ana Godoy of Riverside turns up the volume and thinks of her ex.

“Las noches que por ti sufrí. No me las paga ni toda tu plata,” Godoy reads the lyrics off her phone and recalls her former love, “He did me so dirty, and honestly this song has helped me.”

Fighting back tears, so she doesn’t ruin her perfectly crafted pink eye makeup before the show, Godoy shared that she will probably cry when Karol G performs this song. By then, Godoy will have captured enough selfies that the tears streaming down her face will serve as a reminder that she overcame the heartbreak and lived, just like Karol G.

As the lights began to dim to signal the start of Friday’s show, amid the excited screams of fans, an animated storybook appeared, narrated by the familiar voice of Morgan Freeman.

He narrates the story of Carolina, a mermaid who spent her days swimming through the sea and soaring through the skies until her world turned dark. Seeking solace from her pain in the ocean, Carolina flies up to the sky causing her heart, and the world around her, to freeze.

The animated video symbolizes Karol G’s public breakup with artist Anuel AA in 2021.

Karol G’s vulnerability in her songs is what has made fans like Monica Muñoz of the Inland Empire all the more connected to the Colombian singer. “I was with somebody for seven years, engaged, and it didn’t work out. So I just feel so close to her,” Muñoz said.

Karol G performs Friday at the Rose Bowl. (J. Emilio Flores / De Los)

“She was a big part of my healing process,” Muñoz said, adding that Karol G’s song “Amargura,” which shares feelings of jealousy and bitterness that linger after a breakup, helped her heal from her own breakup. “It’s been a year, but I’m good. Happy. Better. No more sadness,” Muñoz said. Now she’s looking forward to songs that put her in a good mood after a hard day’s work, like “Ojos Ferrari.”

Karol G began Friday’s concert with music from her “Mañana Será Bonito” album, specifically her highest charting song, “TQG,” featuring superstar Shakira, who also faced a public breakup with ex-soccer star Pique.

Between the first couple of songs, Karol G told the audience that this was her first sold-out concert, which caused her to add another day in Los Angeles. It was both a moment of reflection and gratitude for the artist as she looked out at the crowd in amazement.

The animated storybook theme continued between sets with Carolina the mermaid wandering through the frozen sea encountering a small butterfly, voiced by RuPaul. The butterfly is meant to symbolize her fairy godmother, who helps Carolina get rid of self-pity to take control of her life. “The time has come to be strong and tell yourself you can do it,” the butterfly says, waving its wand, and a new Carolina the mermaid appears ready to dominate as “La Bichota”.

“She feels what a girl feels when you’re going through a really bad heartbreak, honestly,” Erica Alderete of Boyle Heights said. She takes Karol G’s new bichota era to heart, “At the end of the day, you know, estamos facturando….if you ain’t got time for me, well I ain’t got time for you,” Alderete said.

While some fans looked forward to her new songs, notably “Oki Doki,” “Mi Ex Tenia Razon,” with more upbeat rhythms, Jesus Garcia of Modesto looked forward to Karol G’s more sentimental piano ballad, “Ocean.”

He takes the lyrics “Me siento grande por ti” to heart, adding “if I don’t believe that in myself, how can I have someone else feel that for me?”

Karol G fans outside the Rose Bowl on Friday. (J. Emilio Flores / De Los)

Garcia views Karol G as an inspiration. “I started following her from the very beginning where she performed in a theater with no chairs to a stadium that has 60,000 people.”

Though the song “Ocean” was once dedicated to her past love, Karol G told fans Friday night to continue to cherish the lyrics and give it a new meaning. People in the crowd hugged and kissed, some even turning from the stage to face each other as they slowly danced side to side.

The song that Karol G has painfully and tearfully sung in past performances is now delivered with grace and poise, as she fully embraces her journey.

Karol G’s ability to cry in front of fans and showcase her pain through the lyrics, even if it involves jealousy or bitterness, make her all the more relatable. She owns her hurt and uses it as a tool for collective healing in her music. Her music reminds fans that healing is not linear and that it is OK if today is a bad day because tomorrow will be better.

An animated Morgan Freeman returned before Karol G’s final set: “There’s a bichota inside every single one of you. You just have to embrace your authentic self just like Carolina did,” he says, legs crossed in a library as he closes the storybook.

“Que chimba la vida,” he adds, reminding the audience that “Mañana Será Bonito.”

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