The Passion of Lucybell

The sounds of Lucybell will ring on in Santiago whether or not they’re in the country. That much was clear in their final Chilean concert before a break to work on their next album.

itemId=7243 Photo by Elizabeth Costigan

One of the front runners of Chilean rock since their emergence in the mid-'90s, the group has accumulated a solid Chilean fan base and is starting to gain a following overseas. Through eight studio albums and two live recordings, they have evolved from '80s-inspired pop/rock to a heavier sound in recent years.

itemId=7307 Photo by Elizabeth Costigan

Sweeping rock ballads and catchy guitar riffs are tied together by lead singer Claudio Valenzuela’s vocals, with an effect reminiscent of Depeche Mode’s new-wave electro rock.

The group has taken a more active role in producing their latest albums, including their most recent live album, Sesion Primitiva, released late last year.

“We have a lot of control over our music now,” said Valenzuela.

Valenzuela’s voice was in impeccable shape at the show, gracefully descending from sweet, resonant highs on “Tu Sangre” to smooth, rumbling lows on “Milagro.” The group brought years of experience performing together to the stage, with an easy dynamic and some minimal stage banter between them, eliciting screams of delight from the audience.

itemId=7306 Photo by Elizabeth Costigan

The intensity of the crowd held firm for the entire concert, which included music from way back on their first 1995 release, “Peces”, right up to their latest, “Comiendo Fuego”, in 2006. Fans squeezed in to every possible crevice of venue La Batuta, belting out their favorites and coming close to drowning out Valenzuela’s voice at times.

“[The fans] are so crazy,” commented one slightly more reserved audience member, “But [the band] is very good – it’s a shame they’re not playing more shows.”

Valenzuela, earrings glistening in the strobe lights, lapped up the audience’s adoration - a relationship built up over eighteen years since the band first started up in Santiago. Strutting across the stage, he gave-in to the audience’s intimate knowledge of the songs, letting them take over every now and then for a particularly impassioned chorus.

itemId=7304 Photo by Elizabeth Costigan

“It’s a small venue for us to play, but I know the people who come here want to really listen,” said Valenzuela after the gig.

Despite the relatively small space, the band sustained its sense of grandiosity with an electric rock concert lighting scheme and a backdrop which at one point included Valenzuela’s face projected into the middle of the Chilean coat of arms.

Self-aggrandizing as that might seem, there was a sense of genuine pride in the audience for a Chilean group that has been on the scene with an original and successful sound for such a long time.

The group may be trying to reach more international markets, but they can rest assured that their Chilean fans will be following their work and will welcome them home with spirited devotion.

http://www.lucybell.com/

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