Anitta’s ‘Baile Funk Experience’ Fulfills Its Promise With Sweltering U.S. Debut: Concert Review

Anitta had never headlined her own concert in the States before Wednesday night’s sold-out show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. Yet it was hard to believe it was her first time after witnessing the Brazilian star dart through a remarkably tight and nearly 30-song setlist.

The singer served a platter of unadulterated favela funk to an amped-up crowd consisting of Portuguese and Spanish-speaking Anitta fans decorated in the yellow and green of her native flag, to singers Bella Poarch, Chloe Bailey and Becky G, actor Diego Boneta and other industry insiders that filled the decades-old theater for the opening night of the “Baile Funk Experience Tour” in the U.S. After this, Anitta will take the production to South America and Europe to personify the sweaty favela funk dance parties of her home country for the enjoyment of any and every willing participant.

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Despite the user-unfriendly layout and sound system of the venue, dance circles broke out in nearly every corner of the space as the 31-year-old twerked and sang her way through her latest “Funk Generation” album, a heated collection of 15 songs that make the most of Brazilian funk’s ragged and infectious beats.

Anitta equally left room on the setlist to allow her biggest hits in both Brazil and in Latin America and the U.S. to shine, including her catchy and career-defining collaborations with J Balvin, Cardi B and Missy Elliott. After buzzing through “Funk Generation,” her dancers exited the stage for her to sweetly sing her pop songs “Girl From Rio,” “Mil Veces” and “Envolver” on a single stand-up mic with nothing but a DJ supporting her. The latter half of the show is dedicated to showcasing her early stints in funk carioca trap with songs like Tropkillaz’ “Bola Rebola” and “Vai Malandra,” inciting a dance battle and perpetuating the high energy stakes of the evening that Anitta so happily maintained.

The visuals remained mostly consistent throughout the night (outside of a quick change or two); Anitta and her team of dancers would balance on the tips of their toes by hooking their fingers onto a chain-linked fence, replicating the set for the music video for Anitta and Bad Gyal’s “Double Team.”

Anitta was ultra-punctual, starting her set at exactly 9 p.m. with a prompt cutoff at 10:20 p.m., but the spirit of the room was comparable to that of an underground warehouse rave at dawn: clammy fists pumping above people’s heads, while others chose to go face down, tails wagging in the air. From the simplicity of the stage design, to the intricacies of her choreographed steps, Anitta ultimately satisfied her vision of bringing the sweaty favela funk parties of Brazil to a global stage.

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