For the second year in a row Supersonico delivered the goods as the first Latin alternative music festival of its kind. The motto of Supersonico has been: “A Cultural Happening”, but I would also add, “And Gathering of the Tribes” as people from all over California and out of state flocked down to the historic Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood for a night of non-stop music.
Although the festival was somewhat scaled back, it actually worked out better in terms of logistics and access to the venue and after some bitching and moaning about the line up and short sets; mostly by people who did not even go to the show, the many thousands who did go, had a great time with the non-stop music facilitated by two stages in the same location, so as one act ended on the main stage, another act started right away on the West Stage on the balcony.
Torreblanca got things started on the main stage with a strong set that got people in the mood. I have to admit that I was not very taken with Torreblanca’s music at first, but after seeing their performance at Supersonico, I will definitely give their music a second chance. I think that is what is great about events like Supersonico, there are many great bands out there that we don’t really pay attention to, but seeing them live, it can change your perspective.
In between bands at the main stage, the West Stage kept the music going with DJ’s like Calentura, Alex Adwandter, Mr. Pauer, Chancha Via Circuito, Dengue, Dengue, Dengue, DJ Afro, the hybrid, Prayers and the only live band, which in my opinion, should have played the main stage, The Argentine El Mató A Un Policia Motorizado.
The Chilean electronic rock band, Astro put on one of the most exciting performances of the night. Singer/guitarrist Andrés Nusser took the stage by himself and began experimenting with his guitar and what seemed like a sound check at first, turned into a powerful performance that combined his raw energetic guitar work with the electronic sounds that were being played live, there were no pre-recorded tracks or any trickery, this was pure live energy.
After Astro’s explosive performance, it would have been tough for any band to follow them on stage, but Hello Seahorse kept the vibes and atmosphere on the rise with Lo Blondo’s beautiful voice and Joe’s – (José Borunda) guitars adding some rock & roll energy with this slashing guitar chords.
To the delight of the many Mexicans in attendance, representing L.A., Mariachi El Bronx, surprised the many people who were not familiar with this band and from the very first song, the audience made these “gringos’ dressed in mariachi outfits feel at home. Mariachi El Bronx was originally a hardcore punk band, which as a gag, one time they played with mariachi instruments and the response was so great that they decided to switch their electric guitars for mariachi instruments and outfits.
Another L.A. band followed, Chicano Batman, a band that has been on the rise and it seems that with every concert they play, the venues get bigger. Their mix of Chicano soul music with cumbias and other Latin rhythms has definitely hit a cord with mixed audiences all over the U.S.
Ximena Sariñana played a bouncy and energetic set that kept the audience entertained and the energy on the rise.
Spanish hip-hop queen, La Mala Rodriguez backed up only by a DJ, played a set that got the audience bumping from beginning to end.
As the momentum kept growing, Kinky was the perfect vehicle to keep it on the rise. With an explosive performance, Gil Cerezo, Cesar Pliego and the rest of the gang seemed to make the audience levitate as the arms seemed to rise up like waves with every beat. Kinky has definitely always been one of the most exciting bands to see live and it seems they get better and more exciting with every performance.
After being away from the U.S. stages for several years, Aterciopelados came back and took their rightful place in the pantheon of the “rock en español” elite. With a set that began with their biggest hit “Baracunatana”, Andrea Echeverri took the audience on a high and it only went higher from there. As songs like “El Estuche”, which received a new treatment, making it sound faster and more energetic, the audience sang along and celebrated every single movement by the first front woman to have a significant impact on the rock end español scene some 25 years ago. Although it was an abbreviated set, the old and new fans of Aterciopelados got a taste of what this iconic band has done for the rock en español movement, even going back to playing some of their older songs, which they had not done very much on their last shows prior to their temporary break up and songs like “Florecita Rockera” and “La Estaca” were given the old punk energy they used to have when they first started.
All in all, Supersonico was once again a great event, as expected, there will be those who will complain about something, but judging by the reaction of the thousands of music fans who gathered at the Hollywood Palladium, everyone seemed to have a great time and most were already looking forward to next year and so am I, and Supersonico has posted on their social media that they are already working on next year’s edition, so we’ll see you all there again next year.
*Photos: Angel Aguilar