March 4, 2021

Parallel universes | Culture | THE COUNTRY


They were almost five hours and two parallel universes, like the title of the song that sang one of its protagonists, Jorge Drexler. The contiguous scenarios where this Friday there were four performances of the second day of the Festival Babel River, in Madrid, they lodged two different bets in the musical and the scenographic. On the one hand, the Chilean Mon Laferte and the Uruguayan Drexler. On the other, just below, the Spanish Dorian and Love of Lesbian. The nexus between both was the language, in a sample of the diversity -and the Latin American orientation- on which the festival bases its programming.

Mon Laferte, who became the most successful singer in her country today and invited last April to the famous Coachella festival, proposed a double tour: for the music of her continent (from the cumbia to the cha cha, going through the mambo or the swing) and the phases of love, like the one offered by his last album, Rule, of which he interpreted themes as Purr Y Why I went to fall in love with you. There was not much public, but it made him dance and he started to restart a song when he felt that his voice -with a great capacity to change the record- was not heard well.

A more consecrated artist followed him: the Uruguayan Jorge Drexler, Oscar-winning Across the river Y winner of the last Latin Grammy, with your disk Ice lifeguard. Faced with his bet on it by the omnipresence of the guitars (the percussion comes even from hitting them), Drexler – who has always made clear his obsession to innovate – took out all the artillery: a Parallel universes with a bass style funky, a Be (the song that gives title to its disc more marked by the electronic bases) latinizado or a Silence in which the guitar shone.

The news broke between song and song. On two occasions he claimed the LGBT Pride festivities that are celebrated these days in Madrid. Before singing a theme in defense of cultural diversity as Movement, asked for a round of applause for the Spanish boat Open Arms by Recently rescue 40 migrants adrift in the Mediterranean, and prefaced Fire the glaciers with a call to "not vote for parties that adopt an anti-ecological measure" such as the moratorium on fines in Central Madrid, paralyzed by a judge. Near the end, he launched himself Bolivia with the explanation that it was an acknowledgment to only country that hosted his grandparents and his father when they fled Nazism in 1939, and invited the Puerto Rican rapper DJ without a sole, who had acted the previous day and he sent the borders "to hell".

Mon Laferte, during his concert this Friday in Madrid.


Mon Laferte, during his concert this Friday in Madrid.

It was ten o'clock at night and the sun had fallen. A different festival began. The multitude of tattoos by Mon Laferte and Drexler's colorful short-sleeved shirt gave way to the rigorous black of the Dorian members. The keyboards took over and the geographical variety of influences faded before the studied one – and with impeccably plastered execution- indie of Dorian. Except for a mention of the Pride festivities and another to the influence in his work of Latin American music and literature, the festival had moved from planet to planet. The public was much more numerous and young. The show, measured, with four vertical projections of geometric shapes and rains of confetti and balloons with the colors that prevailed: black and white. To any other part followed by Sandstorm they marked the zenith of the recital.

With just the right minutes for the audience to change the stage, it was the turn of Love of Lesbian, a formation that shares with Dorian the framing on the label indie and having seen the light in the province of Barcelona. Their singers collaborated as guests one in the concert of the other.

"We are the Rolling Stones," joked Love of Lesbian singer Santi Balmes, shortly after starting with 1999 on a stage with cafeteria aesthetics hipster. The only political reference was also about the LGBT Pride: "Let no one with dandruff in your brain marginalize you because of your sexual orientation," he said. The concert was in crescendo until John Boy Fan Club, directly danced and chanted to screams. The young Mexican voice Silvina Estrada helped turn around Snow fires. The closing was for Where we used to scream. The crowd celebrated it as a generational hymn.

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