By Ikam Acosta
Juanes recorded a practice session of MTV Unplugged on Tuesday, January 31 at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. It was to be in preparation for the actual taping that would take place the following night.
Since the first night's taping was the dress rehearsal for the actual Unplugged show that will air on MTV, everything was to go exactly as planned. The performers had been rehearsing for weeks, building up to this night and the following night to come.
Attendees of the dress rehearsal were comprised mostly of cast and staff, since the following night would be filled with Juanes fans as the general audience.
Guests waited in line for entry passes and proceeded to go inside the building, then stand outside the doors to their respective sections where they will be seated throughout the length of the show.
Waiting in line was amusing, but long. At some point we even thought we caught a glimpse of a Juanes doppelganger wading through the crowd. Once we entered our sections, the seating arrangements were methodical and organized. The venue filled up quickly and with ease.
Juanes entered onstage sporting a brown jacket, jeans, and a chain wallet. He welcomed the crowd and thanked us for being there, promising an exciting show.
Seats surrounded Juanes and the band in this most informal stage setup. It felt more like a jam session than a show, only because of all the people onstage with the performers. New World Symphony orchestra members were intermingled among the audience members, blending into the stage.
Once the light check began, we knew the rehearsal was on its way. Juanes performed song after song, only having to repeat one because of excessive noise in the sound mixing and some electrical malfunction. Everything after that went seamlessly, with no more interruptions.
Video screens were lit up with scenes that varied from clouds to fields to water, as a harmonizing accompaniment to each song. Cameras swung from every direction in order to get the most comprehensive views of the crowds.
The audience swooned with excitement every time guest artists like Juan Luis Guerra or Paula Lembrarás joined Juanes onstage for a duet, which happened several times throughout the show.
Towards the end of the performance, Juanes welcomed the Juanes Unplugged Contest winner, Emanuela Bellezza, who sang a beautiful duet with Juanes to Fotografia, a song he once sang with Nelly Furtado.
I was glad we got to see a lot of interaction between Juanes and the production people, the orchestra and the audience, the ushers and the guests. Interactions which seemed just as important as the performances themselves.
The dress rehearsal was a breathtaking teaser of what was to come the following night. It also had an element of warmth and camaraderie, as if we had all been through the rehearsal process together. It also involved the element of surprise, as there is no way both nights will play out exactly the same. When cameras are capturing movement from every direction, there are some great opportunities for some really fabulous shots.
What duet would you have wanted to see that evening?
Copyright : Tr3s