Bands: Bomba Estéreo, Celso Pina, Monsieur Periné, Gepe, Natalia Lafourcade, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
Last day of Vive Latino 2013 meant deep exhaustion, better weather, and more Gepe. And even though Sunday felt like it sported a shorter list of artists worth seeing, those artists made up for the lacking list. Some of our favorite shows/moments happened on Sunday. We’re sad and all that it’s over, but these old bones couldn’t have tolerated much more. Here’s the Sunday/final rundown.
Bomba Estéreo at this point is a festival staple. From Coachella to Bonnaroo to SXSW, they’re always on a roster doing their cumbia colombiana psicodélica thing. So I’ve had the opportunity to see them a few times in my day. And every time I’ve seen them I’ve been skeptical beforehand. I don’t connect with their albums. They don’t feel fully realized to me. But then they make me love them on stage. Each time they add a new layer, becoming more and more actualized and focused as a group. Each time Li Saumet and Simón Mejía (as well as members Julian Salazar and Kike Egurrola) give more of themselves. This set was the best I’ve seen from them.
First off, Li came out looking like a rave bird on her wedding day. She had a neon/tribal- fringed bustier and a poofy, feathered skirt with sneakers. If that’s not enough, Li is the only artist so far I’ve seen use the entire main stage. She went from one extreme to the other, enlisting the crowd’s energy. This created some pretty great Instagram opportunities:
The crowd went absolutely bonkers during “Fuego.” Shirts came off, people were launched in the air, and purple nurples were exchanged:
— Andrea Gompf (@AndreaGompf) March 17, 2013
They left everything on the stage. Literally. Li’s right breast popped out to say hello during “Fuego,” and Li, so committed and entranced, didn’t notice (and why should she cover it up anyway?). The jumbotrons picked up every detail of her beautiful areola and crowd reactions as it was happening. The nip-slip continued well into their closing track, “Alma y Cuerpo,” so there was definitely mucho mucho cuerpo. In the end, a wardrobe “malfunction” like that makes total sense in the context of their shows. They’re balls-out, tits-out, full-throttle experiences. And we love them for that.
We also can’t forget to praise the digital projections backdropping them. It was hands- down the best use of the screen I’ve seen all festival. Artists Simón Hernández and Santiago Caicedo, frequent collaborators of the band, created trippy and sprawling images of birds juxtaposed with humans and break-dancers and explosions. It was a highlight for sure.
Having a booth in the press area at Vive Latino means you have to be running from booth to show and back to booth, because artists come in and out for interviews at a moment’s notice. This is a blessing and a curse, because you RUSH. Everywhere. So my Celso Piña experience, unfortunately, was cut short after only two songs. I was lucky to catch Toy Selectah (our HR manager) come on stage to join Celso and his band. I was also lucky to catch the entire back section of the main stage bust into coupled cumbia. It was possibly the cutest thing ever.
Monsieur Periné mixes cumbia colombiana with a tinge of reggae and lots of Parisian salon flare. Their singer is also maybe one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. She is also a great singer and performer, as evidenced by their set yesterday, where a huge crowd sang every song and whistled/cat called her. She’s a dish, a talented one (so all the better). But Monsieur Periné’s sound and set were too one-note. Too much the same. I need more than a huge band playing cumbia in French and yelling “eh, eh, eh.” Fellow Colombian Paté de Fuá joined them on stage and women freaked the fuck out. I didn’t know he was such a heartthrob with the Mexican ladies.
If Monsieur Periné’s singer is Vive Latino’s prom queen, then Gepe is her king. He’s our king. Like with Alex Anwandter, we’re loyal subjects of Gepe. So the fact that they have a collab album (Alex y Daniel) puts a smile on our simple faces. I like to think they are each other’s spirit animal.
But anyway, GEPE. His set was a carnaval on stage, complete with two Andean folkloric dancers doing choreography during each song and then launching confetti onto the audience. Gepe himself jumped from drums to guitar to mic (where he did a lot of pelvic undulations), while his superband backed him. Alvaro Solis of Protistas and Fakuta herself filled the stage in. Between this and Ulises Hadjis’ (link) superband, I’m overwhelmed with joy. The audience knew every lyric and joined him for “Alfabeto,” “Por la ventana,” and “Fruta y té.” Oh, and there was d-a-n-c-i-n-g. Lots of it.
He also gave Vine a reason for existing by doing this:
So you have to make tough choices while at Vive Latino, especially when two true and tried Remezcla-loved artists are performing at the same time. I am a Gepe head. I am not a Lafourcade lover. So, the decision was easy enough for me. But I knew Natalia Lafourcade would flex her guest-star muscle, and she did, by having Café Tacvba’s Meme join her, as well as Fobia’s Leonardo and Los Daniels’ Ismael. Later on all of Mexico convened at the Indio main stage to see Argentina’s Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Maybe you’ve heard of them. I instead stared at the ground and contemplated mymortality. It seemed like more fun than listening to “Matador” for the zillionth time.