Thursday, July 16, 2009

(07/16/09) Review: Virus Digital Tour at Congress Theater

It seems the current economic crisis across the world has led some angsty musicians to try and redefine their music by unsuccessfully attempting to create quirky fusions of contrasting genres together. This is leading to what seems like an alarming rate of copycats. Yes indeed. Thankfully, there are musicians like Bostich & Fussible of Tijuana based Nortec Collective, who confirmed to Enchufate before taking the stage Saturday at their "Virus Digital Tour," that they will continue to expand on the success of the norteño-techno concept they originated. "We grew up in Tijuana and our lives are influenced by the city. We play what we know and what inspired us on a daily basis. We'll continue to do that."

Featuring a setup and control deck straight out of Star Trek, ("as if paisas took over the Starship Enterprise" said an enthusiastic DJ Scarecrow) and surrounded by visuals that made no sense until you made them make sense, Bostich & Fussible riled up the crowd with hits from their previous two albums The Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 1 and Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3 including Tijuana Makes Me Happy, Tengo La Voz and Tijuana Bass. They brought along their trumpet and accordeon players, jokingly referred to as their own "Tijuana Sound Machine," to accompany them and performed more music from their last production, the Grammy-nominated Tijuana Sound Machine, including TSM and Shake It Up. If you were in the crowd you were either dancing along or staring in awe. The surreal amalgamation of traditional banda, norteño and electronic beats pulsated feverishly, echoing throughout the gargantuan theater. This was definitely classic Nortec Collective, exactly what the audience had been waiting for. The experience, although short lived due to time constraints, was definitely well worth the wait.

Before NC's performance, Mexican Institute of Sound engaged the crowd in a modern, redefined set of cumbia, dance, hip hop, electronica and rock. Camilo Lara, creator, DJ and now vocalist, began his set by showering the crowd with dozens of logo-infused face masks in comedic tribute to the night's theme. With an MC/DJ and live guitar player along, M.I.S. hit us with sweet morsels of everything from Mejico Maxico, Piñata and our current favorite Soy Sauce. Cumbia, like in the album, was the first song in the list followed by Alocatel, Yo Digo Baila, interspersed briefly with a quick "Feliz Cumpleaños, Cafe Tacuba" shout out. We also heard Escribeme Pronto and Hiedra Venenosa. Overall it was a great sampling of all of M.I.S.'s hits. We can't wait to see him perform again in Chicago.

And what can we possibly say about Silverio, su majestad imperial, the man with the hypnotic ability to conjure up shrieking woman to the stage, one, two then three at a time until he was compleletely surrounded? We believe Ben Ortiz described it best, even before experiencing the live performance (posted in the Chicago Tribune): "Local buzz suggests that Silverio will be the stage-stomper of the lineup, as he usually dons a straight-to-video narco-villain ranchero mullet and strips down to blood-red Hanes briefs, to tweak raunchy electro break-beats from the DJ decks." He did just that, performing the same material he graced us with during his last visit, sweaty blood-red briefs and all. Local music blogger MeanLittleBumbleBee referred to Silverio as: "[...] juicy and moist!"

The Virus Digital Tour also featured local bands Saber and DJ WillyJoy, and a special surprise guest appearance by Kampion, who was the initial reason why the crowd began to dance. Unfortunately he was quite rudely interrupted by an uninformed MC, who must have not realized Kampion had only been playing for about 20 minutes before he just got up on stage and began hassling the crowd with Pitbull tickets. It was an awkward moment for everyone involved, including Kampion who was quite visibly upset about the situation. Regardless, shortly thereafter, the night continued to run smoothly.

It's also very encouraging to see Congress Theater producing so many great shows featuring such talented independent artists. Bravo!


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