Outside Lands 2011 (Day 2): Ana Tijoux, Ximena Sariñana, & MIS

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Saturday started early with Ana Tijoux opening at the Twin Peaks stage. It was barely after noon and I counted only 80 people in front of the stage waiting for her.

Oh these lazy Latinos, I thought, always late! Fortunately by the time she was rapping her second song, she already had a decent size crowd and before the end of her show the place was as packed as it gets for daytime performances.

This was part of Ana’s third tour through the US and it seems like every time she comes she brings a different band. For her first tour it was just her with LA-based Mexican DJ Ethos on the turntables. Then she brought Dacel, her own DJ, and MC Hordatoj doing backing vocals. This time around she brought a full five-piece band along with DJ Dacel (who doubled as a rapper doing Hordatoj’s verses).

The French-Chilean femcee was just fresh out of the studio in Detroit where she finished a week ago mixing her next record, La Bala (release scheduled for November 1st). I was hoping to hear some of her new work, but she is still keeping it secret. She did perform some classic Makiza songs for her old school fans (that’d be me) including protest-rap “En Paro” which she dedicated to the students protests happening these days in Chile.

Back-to-back of Latinas with hard-to-pronounce last names. Right after Ms. Tijoux we had to run to the Panhandle stage to check out Ximena Sariñana who also showed up with brand new band (including Vira Lata of Los Abandoned in bass and Adrián Sosa of Bajofondo in drums).

The Mexican singer is taking her crossover to the Anglo market too seriously apparently, she only did one song in Spanish (“Tu y Yo”) and even that one was introduced with an English speech for the gringos to understand. “She speaks better English than I do and she’s been here for only a year,” I heard a Mexican fan saying. Completely assimilated to LA’s hipsterdom, Ximena even did a song about Echo Park “where all the hot guys that play guitar live,” in her own words.

Next stop, the Heineken tent for the Mexican Institute of Sound. Now, I love Camilo Lara and his music but two factors made his performance a little upsetting. First one is not his fault at all: they put him to play in a little tent with capacity for only 200 people, something beyond ridiculous in a festival that sold out 60 thousand tickets. I saw many fans leaving before getting into the tent, after 30 minutes of waiting in line–and if you were of the lucky ones who made it in, you almost didn’t have room for dancing.

Second, they announced it as Mexican Institute of Sound but in reality it was just Camilo doing a DJ set with CDs, and sporadically grabbing the mic to hype-up the crowd. Nothing wrong with that, but Camilo is not particularly a skillful DJ and he’s a lot more fun as a front-man performing with his band. Still, for a DJ who can’t really beat-match, his set was the highlight of the evening and seeing the tent packed with gringos jumping frenetically to a remix of “El Sonidito”… priceless.

Click HERE to read Outside Lands Day 1, and HERE for Day 3.