Chicago, Illinois— A weekend full of música y cultura [music and culture] took place on July 8-10th in Chicago’s Pilsen district; in which, multiple generations from los abuelos to los hijos de los hijos were united for la pasión de la música [the passion of the music]. Ruido Fest, in its 2nd installment, is a unique 3-day music festival catered for Latinos and fanaticos [fans] of the genre Latin Alternative; also, it’s the first to pursue such an ambitious feat. Last year’s lineup set the bar pretty high up, boasting big names in the music scene like Molotov, Zoé and Café Tacuba as headliners. You can only imagine the challenge it was to top that. So what did the organizers do? They brought in more sponsors like Toyota, AT&T and Coors, incorporated a fair for the kids, had lots of amazing comida [food], and brought in anchor artists to headline this year’s lineup. There were minor bumps along the road like the fallout of La Ley, Mon Laferte, and Hong Kong Blood Opera; but regardless, the show went on. The results were quite obvious form Day 1 that this year’s Ruido Fest was going to be even more ruidoso [louder] than last year.
On Friday, the festival comienzo rockeando [began rocking] with the performance of Riesgo de Contagio. Soon followed by local Chicago talent, Divino Nino. This tropical pop four-piece band was a handful of local and national talent [talent] that represent the US in Ruido Fest. Other national talent that performed that day were Minimal and Helado Negro. The day ensued with música from Argentina, Mexico, Miami, and New York. Camila Lara from MIS gave us a nice break from the rock and provided us a different ritmo [rhythm] to dance to: cumbia electronic dance fusion. As soon as Argentina’s electropop band, Miranda!, hit the stage la fiesta comienzo [the party got started]! Playing their feel good pop anthems such as “Fantasmas” y “Don” the band got the public bien ruidoso. Gondwana continued to provide the festive vibes with their reggae rock hits. By the time Carla Morrison went on stage, the sun was beginning to set. Having her perform during the “golden hour” only added to the atmosphere of her performance that you wouldn’t get in any indoor concert. Simply put, Carla’s performance was legit. She stopped a fight that commenced within the crowd, dissed Trump, gave us consejos [advice] to live nuestro vidas [our lives], and she sang her beautiful soul out. Originally La Ley was supposed to close the night, but with a slight modification to Friday’s lineup, Gondwana was brought in and Panteón Rococó closed the night with a ska finish. For the most part, the turnout of events did not take away from the festival experience and the overall success of the first day. Compared to last year’s first day, the number of people that showed up on Friday was twice the number- in fact there were just the same amount of people or more that showed up on Friday as last year’s Sunday turnout.
Day 1: Friday 8, 2016
Early highlights of Day 2 included la atrevida [daredevil] Teri Gender Bender from Le Butcherettes crowd surfing during her set and the Sexy Zebras‘ impromptu decision to perform within the crowd. Spanish band, Jenny and the Mexicats, were also a crowd favorite with their fusion of estilos y música.
The beauty about music festivals is that they attract artists that don’t normally tour the US. In particular, ruidosos were able to enjoy música from Mexican 80’s rock band Cuca, música from Costa Rica’s all girl group Las Robertas, and Mexico City’s new wave/ rock band Odisseo, just to name a few. Saturday night ended on a high note by performances from Natalia Lafourcade and Maldita Vecindad.
After two days of music, you would think that perhaps Day 3 would be overshadowed; pero [but], that was not the case. Many ruidosos continued to discover new artist that weren’t on their radar like Denver rock band Izcalli. Adan & Xavi y Los Imanes, and Silverio performed 2nd shows on Sunday to fill in the recent gaps in the lineup. Both of these performances were stellar! Adan & Xavi performed the first time on Saturday but were unprepared when their bass player was unable to attend due to visa problems. Their performance on Saturday was improvised, but they did the best they could. Sunday’s performance definitely highlighted their musical talent, as they came prepared with an acoustic set showcasing their sound. Silverio, a veteran artist of Ruido Fest, had a small performance on Friday, but Sunday’s set was bigger and more wild. I honestly have not seen a DJ set like Silverio’s. It was the definition of wet and wild. (For clarification, the audience got wet from all the beer people were throwing at Silverio.)
There were tons of great music throughout all 3 days, music from La Santa Cecilia added to the little variety of the festival’s musical repertoire of rock and alternativo. The LA band is a fusion band of alternativo, jazz, conjunto, banda, y cumbia (genres not necessarily associated with rock or alto.). Their performance of conjunto y banda influenced tracks and covers brought nostalgia to thee days we would listen to Los Tigres del Norte with a familia. Another crowd favorite, Aterciopelados, continued setting el ritmo of the night with their classic rock songs. In fact, they had one of the best openings because they automatically started the show with a fan favorite song, “Baracunatana”. Last but not least, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs closed Ruido Fest’s 2nd installment. This was Los Fabulosos only performance in the US this year so the turnout on Sunday was insane for a young festival. The band ended the night with their hit song “El Matador, which was definitely indicative of what Ruido Fest brought this past weekend- Ruido Fest killed it!
Para mas fotos de Ruido Fest chequen el foto essay.
[For more pictures of Ruido Fest check out my photo essay.]
Day 2: Saturday 9, 2016
“Me da mucha emoción, también, ver que la música Latina está expandiendo y está encontrando su lugar, aquí en este festival. Eso me da muchísimo gusto! Entonces espero que no se la primera vez y que la gente se la pase bien con nosotros.” -Natalia Lafourcade
Day 3: Sunday 10, 2016
Photography and Story by: Ruben Casas