OZOMATLI @ The Triffid

Tonight at The Triffid, all those who have taken part in an Ozomatli live show before are packed to take flight on a Mexican-meets-American — both North and South — Latin-rocked, salsa-dipped journey into cultures of live, picante music!

OZOMATLI Live @ The Triffid – Sunday 30th October, 2016
For Street Press Australia [VIEW HERE]

Words by Rip Nicholson
Images supplied by @TrueVibenation

“There’s an element in our spirit and in those who come to our shows, they really love to let loose, not afraid to express themselves,” said guitarist Raul Pacheco when interviewed last week. True to form, tonight, punters have been holding down their spots for the uptempo sweat-box of an Ozo party, on this, the last stop on their 2016 Australian tour. As the lights blow out, the rest of us grab what little real estate is left over.

Pacheco and the six-piece brass-and-percussion outfit open with a run through their 20-plus-year career, from 1998’s self-titled debut through Place In The Sun (2014) and beyond, giving us their rap-infused ensalada of Latino-drenched hip hop grooves and jazzy bass lines. It isn’t long before we go way back to some signature James Brown funk and their take on La Bamba, Blondie’s classic The Tide Is High, rounding out on the infectious 808 style of Zapp’s Dancefloor with Justin ‘El Nino’ Poree rapping ad-lib. El Nino then leaps from out beyond the bongos to grab centre-stage and rap out Saturday Night.

Touching on their yet-to-be-released album fusing Latino classics to reggae, the guys navigate to Jamaica. “Ree-wiiind,” hollers trumpeter Asdrubal Sierra, cuing the grooves of Ini Kamoze’s 1984 joint World-A-Music. The track rolls into Mexican all-timers Besame Mucho, a 1940 tune by Consuelo Velazquez, and Como La Flor by the late Selena, allowing Asdrubal Sierra’s voice to soar in an exhilarating vocal overtone – soothed only by the serenading saxophone of Ulises Bella.

They call upon tour supports True Vibenation and Ant Aggs (Xavier Rudd) to join them for a jam-out and, before landing this trip, proceed with a marching percussion, bells and whistles, for a Brazilian carnival treatment to Como Ves, off their first LP. Making a conga line, they trail to the back bar to ring out any reserves unspent in tonight’s incredibly high energy trip of world music.

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