After stunning a screaming crowd on the first of two consecutive, sold out Red Bull Music Festival shows at the reopened Webster Hall, Rosalía returned on Tuesday (4/30) night for round two. While her setlist didn't vary from night one, made up largely by songs from her excellent 2018 album El Mal Querer as well as her collaborations with J Balvin and James Blake, it's hard to imagine that anyone who made it to both shows would be disappointed by the lack of variation. Rosalía is a star performer with a massive voice that excels at grand vocal acrobatics, subtle inflections, and everything in between. Whether unadorned and a capella (like she was for her encore, a cover of Carlos Gardel's "Volver") or augmented with effects and vocoder, or just ebullient in the little wordless vocalizations and "whoop"s she seasons pauses and beats with, Rosalía's voice has a quality that transcends language; it makes sense, listening to her, that she's become such a crossover sensation to Spanish and English speakers alike.

Along with her voice and her hypnotically catchy songs, Rosalía also puts on an arena-ready stage show with a crew of dancers running and strutting around her. The choreography was well-suited to the music, especially during "BAGDAD," when the dancers encircled Rosalía holding red ribbons.

Opening Tuesday and Monday night's shows was Red Bull Music Festival alumnus serpentwithfeet, who got a warm reception with songs from his great 2018 album soil. Despite often singing over a backing track (when he wasn't at the keyboard), Josiah Wise still transformed many of the songs into loose interpretations of their album versions, adding words and vocalizations. I'd like to see him perform live with a band someday, but his one-man show is captivating.

Tuesday night found Webster Hall hosting its fourth show since reopening on Friday with Jay-Z. It was also my first trip back to the remodeled venue, and I was pleased to see that its essential character has been maintained. The marquee, the paneling on the balconies, the tiled ceiling, and even the stairwell up to the Grand Ballroom from the entrance are all like I remember them from years of visits, but there are a number of changes too. The Marlin Room has been transformed into a bar and open lounge called "The Ritz," a shoutout to Webster's former name, and it's accessible not only from the main entrance but from a stairwell by the side bar in the Grand Ballroom. That stairwell leads up to the balcony and more bathrooms (no more of those red bathrooms with checkered floors), and on the other side of the bar there are even more stairwells leading up to the balcony and back down towards the entrance and exit. The main stairwell that would often bottleneck upon exiting the venue at the end of the night has a noticeably widened landing, too. Inside the ballroom, the back bar has been pushed back so there isn't that awkward alley between it and the back wall anymore. I didn't make it up to the balcony to check out any changes there, but I do feel like it's a marked improvement for Webster. Welcome back!

Check out pictures from Tuesday night's show in the gallery above (including some shots of the renovated Webster), and videos from Rosalía's set, as well as her setlist, below.


Setlist: Rosalía @ Webster Hall, 4/30/2019 (via)
Como ali
Barefoot in the Park (James Blake collaboration)
De madrugá
Te estoy amando locamente (Las Grecas cover)
Brillo (J Balvin collaboration)
Lo Presiento
Con altura (J Balvin collaboration)

Volver (Carlos Gardel cover)

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