Review: MySpace Latino "Show Secreto" with Tego Calderon, Locos Por Juana, Circo, and Beto Cuevas

Tego Calderon
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MySpace Latino's "Show Secreto" with Tego Calderón with Locos Por Juana, Circo, and Beto Cuevas

Friday, April 11

Studio A, Miami

Better Than: Putting your iPod on shuffle

You can’t manufacture cool -- it has to happen naturally. Case in point: Last Friday evening, Myspace Latino's Miami launch concert tried to be all things to all people by cramming every genre under the "Latin" umbrella into one room. It was a weird lineup for sure, with reggaetón, rock en español, Latin jam, and even some disco.

The free concert — you could get free passes by going to the Myspace Latino site — started one hour late with Puerto Rico’s Circo, a group that can best be described as, perhaps, new wave en español. Circo’s singer, Jose Luis “Fofe” Abreu, sported a really cool tattoo on the side of his scalp (it looks like a green snake) and sang his Brit-style ditties with lots of energy. Still, Circo’s didn’t seem to really grab the audience; songs like the popular “Alguien” could have used more vigor from the band. At one point, the long keyboard solo for “Antes Del Fin” verged on pure disco. But overall, Circo put on a good show, and got some people moving with their decidedly retro sound.

After Circo, when the night's DJ played a house mix of the Beastie Boys' “Intergalactic,” is when the sheer mix of the attendees became apparent. There were the usual industry types, along with the indie rock en español crowd. Then there were the neo-boho-hippies (probably there to jam to Locos Por Juana) and finally the urban, reggaetón crowd. The DJ seemed aware of this dilemma, and kept switching the music through the night. As it was, the set list was all over the place.

Half an hour later, La Ley’s singer, Beto Cuevas, took the stage. Cuevas was the “secret artist” of the evening and his appearance took many in the crowd by surprise. Of all the performers, Cuevas was the most energetic, jumping and doing Mick Jagger-style dance moves. He performed only three songs, but you could tell he was having fun with his new punk-style, solo material. But right after Cuevas' set, the audience started chanting for Tego, which was a shame, because Cuevas is really a great performer.

And it still wasn't time for Calderon. After what it seemed like an eternity, Locos Por Juana got the crowd jumping with their trademark horns. They played old favorites like “Maruja” and did a new, cool flamenco-meets-salsa number. It was fun, but by this point the audience seemed a little tired, and once again there were call for Tego at the end of the Locos' hour-long set.

Finally, at around midnight, Tego Calderón’s band started to set up their gear -- it seems Tego now plays with a live group and a DJ. An hour later, when he took the stage, it was instantly apparent that his new band sounds much better than the pre-recorded tracks he used in the past.

As Tego started his set with “Abayarde,” the place, for the first time in the evening, really got moving, and the dancing went on with his salsa-reggaetón of “Llorarás.” Clocking in at only six songs, the set wasn’t too long, but it delivered the goods with extra jamming from his new band. Particularly, the Jamaican-flavored “Chilin,” one of the best new songs from Tego’s repertoire, made everyone sing out loud for the first time in the evening.

And there you have it. The Myspace Latino concert was free, so there’s no point in complaining too much about the mixed-bag lineup, or the fact that it turned out to be really long (six hours). Hopefully, for the next "Show Secreto," they’ll stick to one genre, but all in all, it was a fun, surreal party. — Jose Dávila

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Tego Calderón set was really amazing, especially his new live band. Where else can you see a conguero take a break to shout cool hip-hop verses?

Random Detail: Beto Cuevas sang “Are You Ready,” the only English song of the night. Cuevas was raised in Canada and speaks perfect English, Italian, and Spanish.

By The Way: MySpace Latino officially launched that Friday. It features exclusive bilingual content.

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