Mall Plaza Vespucio seems like a strange place to go to hear music. Pods of uniformed teens mingling near food courts, families shopping for nothing in particular and hand-holding couples staring at kitchenware all had to be navigated to get to Sala SCD Vespucio's concert featuring Daniela Henriquez, Francis and Los Remolinos on September 23.
fv-03.JPG Photo courtesy Felipe Vida
Once snug inside the Sala SCD concert hall, seated within the dark rows of comfortable chairs, the intimate nature of the venue took over when singer and songwriter Daniela Henriquez began singing “28 Inviernos,” a catchy tune familiar to the crowd.
fv-02.JPG Photo courtesy Felipe Vida
After singing her captivating ballad, “Pequeña Luz,” Daniela Henriquez got warm-hearted hoots from the crowd when she described Julio Cancino, guitar and backup vocals, as the dad of the group. She then continued to introduce her band, one by one, as her family here in Santiago: Francisco León on bass, Claudio Reyes on guitar and Jose Luis Ramos on drums.
In “La calle en que viví,” a tribute to her hometown of Concepción, Henriquez showed off her award-winning songwriting talents that won her a place in its Escuelas de Rock, (School of Rock, a Chilean national program that connects emerging young talent with well-established Chilean Rock musicians as teachers and mentors), where she established connections with fellow musicians, many of whom are still a part of her musical endeavors today. She ended the set with “Yo no se bien,” (I don’t know enough). However, this night she seemed to know enough to be able to leave the audience in the warm glow of her music.
francis-01.jpg Photo courtesy Ignacio Sanchez Sanchez
After a pause, the stage darkened, lit only with red pinpoint glows of scattered incense sticks. Three horizontal neon blue lines emerged from the darkness and in entered Francis -- the latest musical project of Diógenes Matus (ex Prisioneros drummer and producer of both this show, and Henriquez’s and Los Remolinos’ latest CDs). Rodrigo Berríos on bass guitar and Nicole Gómez on drums accompanied Matus’ guitar as he soulfully sung “Perdon,” a ruminating song that echoed heavily of the ‘80s. Again, the theme of community surfaced as he paid a dear tribute to one of his mentors, Andres Godoy, singing “Ahi viene el sol.”
It’s at gigs like these when the audience gets to see up-close the true enjoyment that a group of people have for each other—why they play. Ex Prisionero Miguel Tapia entered the stage and took the drums to play an old Los Prisioneros favorite, “La Cultura de la basura,” joined by Jaime Medel on guitar and Daniel Guajardo on bass. Tapia then took the mic to sing another Los Prisioneros oldie, “Quien Mato a Marilyn?” Most everyone in the audience was singing. Francis finished up with a crowd-pleaser and a personal favorite that left everyone bouncing in their seats to the intense foot-tapping rhythm, “Viajes,” a new take one one of Matus’ old songs.
fv-04.JPG Photo courtesy Felipe Vida
Another quick pause, mostly a smoke break (Sala SCD is a no-smoking venue), and back onstage were the same guys that backed up Henriquez-- Los Remolinos-- made up of Julio Cancino on vocals and guitar, Claudio Reyes on guitar and backup vocals, Francisco León on bass and José Luis Ramos on drums.
The minute the music started, the interconnected chairs began to rock to the beat of the first song, “Abreme al sol.” It was just too hard to sit still to this catchy music; Los Remolinos makes you want to move something.
As their special guests, Jaime Medel on guitar and Omar Acosta on vocals and guitar, (Bbs Paranoicos) joined them onstage; it wasn’t clear who was having more fun, the audience or the musicians. Their song “Soy del Sur,” (I’m from the South), had a playful intensity with tight rhythms that made it hard not to get up and dance— making the row of chairs rock harder.
They ended with a song off of their newest CD, “Lo que quiero de ti,” (What I want from you) leaving the crowd simply wanting more.
You can next see Francis play on Thursday, Oct 8 at the Cine Arte Alameda, and Los Remonlinos on Oct 29th at Oxido Bar.