Penguin Prison: All you-can-drink Budweiser and Live Electro

Penguin Prison’s Chilean debut at Club La Feria in Santiago served as testament to the effectiveness of corporate sponsorship while still maintaining music as the focal point of the evening. Hailing from NYC, Penguin Prison are an indie-electro band which global brewing giant Budweiser featured as the headliner for their Urban Nights series.

Photo by Carolina Bastías Fuentes
Photo by Carolina Bastías Fuentes

The event advertised itself as a night of live electro music and free Budweiser, a combination anyone who likes either electro or beer would be hard-pressed to turn down.

Although, to clarify, there was nothing free about the event itself, the cover being CP$5.000. Once inside, however, the event lived up to the hype offering a never-ending stream of cold, bottled Budweiser until 1am. Events like these, which operate under the moniker Budweiser Urban Nights, are the likely reason Club La Feria is considered the best venue in Santiago to enjoy live-mixed electro. And in a city saturated with reggaeton beats and cumbia rhythms, a club that offers live electro groups is worthy of praise. Penguin Prisons being a very young band from abroad, the majority of people present appeared to have come for the beer but also showed genuine curiosity as to what this unheard of band would have to offer.

Photo by Carolina Bastías Fuentes
Photo by Carolina Bastías Fuentes

Penguin Prison are labeled as “electro,” yet played their set with a full ensemble of instruments that a typical rock band would utilize. Full of energy and slightly reminiscent of such contemporaries as Passion Pit, Matt and Kim and Yeasayer, Penguin Prision are abstract enough to make their music interesting to listen to, but mainstream enough to make them marketable. This combination of experimental ambition coupled with tried and true electronica-pop characteristics make Penguin Prisons the perfect fit for a crowd who is still discovering the multiple facets of electronic music.

Photo by Carolina Bastías Fuentes
Photo by Carolina Bastías Fuentes

The main downside of the band’s performance was the brevity of their set. With only about 20 minutes of live performance, the audience seemed puzzled when they learned that it wasn’t a break the band were taking, but rather that they were done playing.

When asked about this, bassist Adam Chilenski responded:“Yeah, it’s crazy to come all the way to South America to play this 30 minute set and one other show in Colombia. But the promoter is paying for it, so...” Chilenski, the newest member of the band, also added that yes, being in a touring band is as awesome as it seems. The success of Penguin Prison’s South American debut at Club La Feria meant that if Budweiser decided to host another Urban Nights concert, it would be well worth going.

Listen to the band here: http://www.myspace.com/penguinprison

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