Review + Photos by Mike McCawley
July 7-9, 2017 | Pilsen – Chicago, IL – As the third year of Ruido Fest got underway in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, “heat” seemed to be the word of the day. Besides the blazing sun and even more-blazing hot sauces on hand at the food tents, the artists assembled from all across Latin America were the real flame-throwers, delighting and enthralling the nearly-sold out crowds that traveled from around the world to see so many Alt-Latin bands in one place.
Mexican shoe-gazers Silver Rose began playing their Jesus & Mary Chain inspired tunes as the gates opened, at first seeming a bit confused as to why they were opening to an empty field. The all-female quartet was quickly joined by the enthusiastic crowd that streamed into the park and Ruido Fest (or Noise Fest) was now under way for its third iteration in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.
From start to finish the Friday lineup didn’t disappoint in the least. From actor-musician Adán Jodorowsky’s smooth melodies and charming smile to the huge beats and hooks delivered by Mexican electro-rockers Titan to the more acoustic pop-rock sounds of Duncan Dhu, a seminal band from Spain that enthralled an adoring sing-a-long crowd.
Detroit, Michigan’s soul-pop outfit Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas took the west stage to deliver an energetic crowd-pleasing set full of songs from her new bilingual double album releases “Telephone” and “Telefono”. Hernandez stalked the stage in bright orange attire delivering blistering Spanish versions of her new singles “Escapar” and “Run Too Far” as well as mixing in some previous English-language hits such as “Sorry I Took Your Man.”
Bomba Estereo from Columbia had one of the most energized crowds of the day based in large part to their 2016 viral smash “Soy yo” and the band’s colorful lead singer turned the park into a giant dance party as she flew from one end of the stage to the other with the rainbow-colored streaming tassels hanging off of her arms becoming a tornado of color on stage.
Latin-Alternative is the through-line genre of the festival but the diverse line up of bands showed that this label is a big tent including everything from ska (Desorden Publico from Venezuela) to electro-folk (Gepe from Chile) to reggae (headliners Cultura Profetica from Puerto Rico) leaving little to be desired by the satisfied attendees.
It’s safe to say that Ruido Fest has a welcome home in Chicago and will only continue to build on their early successes.
Jessica Hernandez & the Delta’s
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