BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: July 4th, 2010
Day 2 of “Rock Al Parque” was exactly what I came for. An intoxicating mixture of punk, hardcore, ska and reggae. By now, I knew what to expect and showed up around 2pm, in plenty of time to catch a couple of bands before my punk/hardcore amigos from Medellin, “Fertil Miseria” (Fertile Misery) were scheduled to play.
Fertil Miseria put on a great show and it was cool to see some familiar faces on stage. Viky, the bald & tattooed female vocalist, was at her hardcore best and the crowd got super excited every time she shouted “Puta!” (whore), which she did frequently, including at the press conference after.
David from the famous Medellin punk band I.R.A. was also on hand documenting the event for his friends. I also thought the “violinest” added a nice touch to Fertile Miseria’s performance.
Medellin was well represented with ska band “Mojiganga” tearing up the stage right after. Mojiganga (have no idea what that means exactly, anyone?) combine hardcore with ska, an interesting, upbeat combination that is called “SkaCore” and really got the crowd (and me) going.
Mojiganga provided a great transition to Reggae which started with local Bogota reggae-masters “Alerta Kamarada” which I was very impressed with.The vibe (and smell if you get my drift) in the area changed almost immediately as soon as the reggae jams started. The crowd really dug it when the two female background singers come front stage for some of the more uptempo songs. The guys threw out “Yerba Cream” to the crowd but I didn’t get my hands on any unfortunately, so can’t attest to it’s use.
The reggae kept coming and the highlight of the evening for me immediately followed when “Ky-Mani Marley”, Bob Marley’s own flesh and blood (his son) hit the stage spreading his Rastafarian message of peace and love.
Ky-Mani spoke and sang in English but it was no problem for the massive crowd (50,000?) as they sang along. In addition to his own excellent repertoire, Ky-Mani performed a couple of Bob Marley hit’s including “No Woman, No Cry” and I couldn’t help but notice all the policia taking photos and videos of Ky-Mani during his performance of “I Shot The Sheriff”.
Maybe the were all deputies, but I wonder if they knew the jest of that particular song. I don’t think they cared and were really just big fans but irony indeed. For them I’m sure this gig sure beat directing the notoriously bad Bogota traffic.
Ky-Mani had one of the few encores that I witnessed the entire time during “Rock Al Parque” as he came out a 2nd time this time sporting a “Rock Al Parque” T-Shirt (where do I get my hands on one of those?) and sang another 3 songs before calling it a night to the enthusiastic and very possibly stoned crowd.
Erika, the Bogota Punk Beauty, was mobbed by even more TV reporters and photographers today, except this time, she was sporting the pink Punk Outlaw camiseta (T-shirt). So Punk Outlaw was well represented throughout the media universe on this 4th of July, 2010. She also took photos with fans including some of the “policia”.
Speaking of, I thought it was pretty cool that the police enjoyed the festivities and were very lighthearted (and very polite) throughout the event, proving you can do your job well and be a human being at the same time. U.S. customs and immigration should take note! You are getting paid, ACT PROFESSIONAL but be cool for God’s sake. Sorry, I digressed.
Day 3 for Rock Al Parque didn’t happen for me for two reasons:
1) It rained, a lot. But I have a feeling the crowd’s spirits were probably not dampened much.
2) Supposedly many of the bands were Emo and I just couldn’t put myself through a day of that infecting my brain.
Rock Al Parque was a great experience. Though I don’t know if I’d be able to fight the 70,000 or so folks daily as a civilian.
Even with a press pass, at times it was a bit crowded for my taste. NYC has made me claustrophobic “(see related post about the crazy punk show in Bogota)” and I really don’t dig crowds as much anymore.
Ear Plugs (it’s too loud), I need my space (it’s too crowded), maybe I’m just getting too old.
Irregardless, my friends, the excellent Medellin punk band Los Suziox are hopefully going to play in 2011 so I hope to be back again next year.
In the meantime, you can check photos from day two at the tail end of the Rock Al Parque Set on our Flikr Page and be sure to stay tuned because we have some great video from the concert coming up in the next few days. And not to mention we’ll have continuous coverage of the punk scene in Colombia as I make my way to Medellin and hopefully Ibague.
Until then, as Bob and Ky-Mani Marley says “everything is gonna be alright”