Gustavo Cerati made good on his promise to visit New York during his current tour by performing at Central Park's Summer Stage series which, unfortunately for Cerati fans, meant that he was sharing the bill with another two bands and could not do a full set.
Surprisingly opening band Mexican Institute of Sound were jaw-droppingly bad (I had heard good things about them, maybe the electonica heavy set wasn't necessarily best served by the outdoors venue). Things picked-up considerably when Puerto Rican reggaeton band Calle 13 came on stage and nearly blew the place up in no small thanks to their charismatic lead singer Residente and a great back-up band. Their own jaw-dropping moments came from some of the raunchy lyrics (no surprise there) and their over the top lyrics for Japon (which trades on racist stereotypes for both Asians AND Puerto Ricans).
Cerati's set launched with a series of electric guitar-heavy tracks from his most recent album, Ahi Vamos, which some are calling a return to form to his early and rockier sound as former band leader for the disbanded Soda Stereo (I was more enamored of his later trippier psychodelic electronic experiments with later Soda Stereo albums and as a solo artist). On the CD, the electronic experimentation still bubbles behind the wall of electric guitar, on stage and outdoors the guitar was God. For some of the fans that might not have been aware that there was a new album out, they were left initially in the lurch as they sought to find familiarity, and they were partially rewarded by later re-toolings of early Soda Stereo tracks "Te Para Tres," "Profugos, "Ecos" and the great "Toma la Ruta" - though there was no "Zoom" (as well as more recent songs from previous efforts as a soloist including the amazing "Paseo Inmoral").
The set, though, was definitely dominated by the new with outstanding performances of "Bomba de Tiempo" (video here) and the best track on the new album, "Crimen."
The performance had me going back to listen to "Ahi Vamos" once again the moment I got home and finding new depths to the whole piece. All in all, a great Saturday afternoon.
Other experiences (not all about Cerati perse):
- Perreo & Sandungueo: Residente activo al Central Park
- Yo he visto algo raro: Concierto raro
- Sugarlowdown: Cerati en Concierto
- Freehaircuts: Gustavo Cerati day and Cerati photos part 2
- A Mi Paso: Buen concierto
- Hernanii: Esta tarde vimos