Live Concert Photography: Los Pericos with Chicano Batman and La Vida Boheme at SummerStage Rumsey Playfield 7/15/17
Of course, as I’ve mentioned a nubmer of times over this site’s even year history, you’d know that I’ve covered a large number of SummerStage shows across the city. And as you may recall, City Parks Foundation created SummerStage back in 1986 in the spirt of Central Park’s original purpose — to serve as a free, public resource to help culturally enrich the lives of New Yorkers through live concerts, dance performances, and other cultural events. Interestingly enough, although the music and art series began with relatively humble beginnings at Central Park’s Naumberg Bandshell, the SummerStage has a long held reputation of an impressive and lengthy list of internationally renowned acts performing across a variety of genres, cultures and styles on their stages, including Sun Ra Arkestra, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mavis Staples, Elvis Costello, Big Daddy Kane, Seun Kuti, Femi Kuti, and countless others.
Over the past couple of years, SummerStage’s organizers have ambitiously expanded the festival beyond Manhattan with shows hosted in parks, bandshells and makeshift stages across the city’s four other boroughs; in fact, interestingly enough, SummerStage has featured an increasingly diverse array of acts including Mobb Deep, Das EFX, EPMD, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, DJ Premier, Bonobo, Monobloco, Boogarins, McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, Roy Ayers, Meshell Ndegeocello, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Saul Williams, Lettuce and a lengthening list across a variety of other genres.
Last month, SummerStage’s main stage at Rumsey Playfield hosted an afternoon of Latin rock featuring renowned Argentine reggae rock act Los Pericos, Los Angeles-based indie rock act Chicano Batman and Caracas, Venezuela-based indie rock/post-punk act La Vida Boheme. Check out photos from the show below.
Tracing their origins back to 1986-1987, the Buenos Aires, Argentina-based rock band Los Pericos have the rare distinction of being one of Argentina’s first reggae bands, as well as one of their homeland’s most critically applauded and commercially successful acts. Their debut effort 1988’s El Ritual De La Banana was the best-selling Argentine album that year, selling 180,000 units and earning triple platinum status; however, with the release of 1993’s Big Yuyo, the Argentine band began to receive massive international attention — they were invited to play that year’s International Festival Reggae Sunsplash Edition in Jamaica, closing out the World Beat Night the following year. And after finishing their fifth full-length effort, Pampas Reggae recorded in the US, the band went on a Stateside tour to support it.
The band’s sixth full-length album Yerbabuena saw simultaneous releases across Latin America, the US and Spain and as a result has contributed “Wanna Be Loved (Desea ser Amado)” for the AIDS benefit album, Silencio = Muerte: Red, Hot + Latin, produced by the Red Hot Organization with Buju Banton, “Darkness” for a reggae tribute to The Police, recorded with The Police’s Stewart Copeland and the Latin tribute to The Police Outlandos D’America.
Since then the band has been busy touring throughout both Latin America and North America — but they received some greater exposure with American audiences after appearing on a 2006 episode of Anthony Bourdain‘s No Reservations. The Argentine rock act headlined a full afternoon of Latin-based rock with a raucous and crowd pleasing set.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock quartet Chicano Batman. Comprised of Eduardo Arenas (bass, vocals), Carlos Arévalo (guitar), Bardo Martinez (vocals, organ, guitar) and Gabriel Villa (drums, percussion), the Southern Californian-based quartet specialize in a sound that draws from Brazilian tropicalia, psychedelia, salsa and classic soul, and as a result they’ve played a number of this country’s major music festivals including Coachella and Bonnaroo, as well as opening for a number of renowned acts such as Jack White, Alabama Shakes, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Gogol Bordello and others.
The band’s latest effort Freedom is Free was released earlier this year through ATO Records, and the album, which was produced by Leon Michels, best known for his work with El Michels Affair, The Arcs, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Black Keys and The Menahan Street Band finds the band decidedly leaning towards a classic soul and R&B sound with hints of early 60s rock; in fact, album single “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” manages to dimly nod at early The Who and The Kinks, complete with the use of soaring organs and soulful backing vocals.
The band is currently on a lengthy American tour to support Freedom Is Free that included their set at SummerStage Rumsey Playfield but interestingly enough, the band will be back in NYC for two dates — October 5, 2017 at Irving Plaza and October 6, 2017 at Warsaw.
Comprised of Henry D’Arthenay (guitar and lead singer), Rafael Pérez (bass guitar and vocals), Daniel de Sousa (guitar and vocals), and Sebastián Ayala (drummer and vocals), the Caracas, Venezuela-based indie rock quartet La Vida Boheme derive their name from Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Boheme and/or the book from which it was based, Henri Murger’s La Vie de Boheme. Sonically, the band’s sound draws from 80s punk, disco, funk, electronic music, jazz, salsa and dance music in a way that feels both familiar and completely new while frequently referencing the artists and songs that influenced them, including “Radio Capital,” a single with a hook that referenced The Ramones. And as a result, the band won 2008’s “Festival de Nuevas Bandas” (New Bands Festival of Venezuela). Adding to a growing national profile, the band’s debut album Nuestra was both commercially and critically successful, making them one of their homeland’s most popular and acclaimed contemporary bands.