Fonseca: Live Last Night
Seven musicians backed Fonseca last night at the Black Cat, but the Colombian singer's style was defined primarily by two instruments: accordion and electric bass. The room-rattling bass drove Fonseca's forays into the globalized sounds of trip-hop and electro-funk, also represented by the pulsating LEDs behind the stage. The accordion, which took by far the most solos, rooted the music in such traditional Colombian forms as vallenato.
(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)
Aside from the accordion, the backing group was basically a rock band with congas. Fonseca was one of three guitarists onstage, although he simply wore the instrument as often as he strummed it. Arena-rock guitar solos briefly punctuated such uptempo songs as "Catalina," a tune from the singer's latest album, "Gratitud." That CD's electronic tendencies were in evidence during such numbers as "Como te extrano," which was half synth-pop ditty, half rural dance. Even the most techno-fied material featured vocal melodies that tended toward the rustic.
For the vocalist, whose full name is Juan Fernando Fonseca, Wednesday's show was the first of two sold-out Black Cat gigs. (The second will be on Saturday.) His nearly two-hour set was bracketed by big-screen video commercials for Colombian tourism and hailed by fluttering Colombian flags.
This homeland spirit boosted Fonseca, a likable but not especially distinctive performer. The crowd quickly took control of many of his midtempo tunes, claiming them as sing-alongs. The effect was like a Dashboard Confessional concert, except with syncopation. While his band was fine, the audience was Fonseca's most effective accompanist.
By David Malitz |
April 23, 2009; 3:56 PM ET
Live Last Night
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