Welcome to Houston, Natalia Lafourcade!
During her US tour for her album Hasta La Raiz, Natalia Lafourcade made a stop in Houston, Texas at our famous Scout Bar, which is known for its hard rock and metal concerts. While it was odd for Natalia to perform at this type of location and the fact that it was so far outside the Houston city limits (actually in the city of Webster), the concert gathered a boat load of fans for the show.
Fans began lining up outside the small bar around 6:30pm and within no time, the line was long and filled with an eclectic group of fans, from parents, to teenagers, to even small children were there to see Natalia Lafourcade. We weren’t the only “gringos” to be in line, though we might have been the only ones that didn’t come with a Latino friend or partner. By 7pm, we were inside waiting for the eight o’clock show to begin with an opening act first. Eight o’clock came and went without a show starting. It took another hour and a half for the opening act to come on. Gio Chamba (@) opened for Natalia Lafourcade’s Houston show.
Gio Chamba is an electronic cumbia band that hails from Houston; and I really have no clue of why this type of band would be opening for Natalia’s style of music other than Houston prides itself as the founders of Cumbia and if you’re Hispanic, you should like cumbia. The performance wasn’t my forte but various concert goers were getting into the music that just proves if you are in Houston and you’re Hispanic, you like Cumbia. After Gio Chamba finished their 5-6 song set, the fans were anxious for them to remove their instruments to make room for who they really wanted to see.
It took another 30 plus minutes before the lights dimmed and the music for “Vamonos Negrito” came over the speakers. The intro was prerecorded as the band was still in the back with Natalia, but it wasn’t long before the band came on stage and began playing. Soon the sold out Scout Bar screamed as their idol made her presence on the Houston stage.
From the moment Natalia Lafourcade step on stage, you felt an energy like no other that I have seen in a long time. Natalia wasn’t up there performing a set of songs, she was having a fun jam session with hundreds of her closest friends and the audience could feel that she wanted to be there. It was all smiles and giggles as the small framed Mexican bounced around to her opening song that the fans knew every word so they could sing along.
That was the vibe the entire concert. Many times, bands or singers will come on stage to sing, perform, and dance but their facial expressions are so plain, almost like what they are doing for a living is too hard or too draining. I don’t think I saw a moment when Natalia was not smiling and feeling happy to be on stage. Her stage presence was fun, energetic (even during slower songs) and captivating.
After her opening, she spoke to the crowd telling them how happy she was to be in Houston and continued on with two more songs after the new album before moving over to her keyboards. She spoke about the upcoming song, “Palomas Blancas” and how the song came to her life and what it meant to her. She connected with her fans by sharing those details with them before performing with her playing the keyboard.
Continuing on with the promotion of her new material, she performed two more songs before moving to her most previous album, which was a tribute to Agustin Lara. This album, and song showed how Natalia has been able to obtain this versatile crowd that was in the audience; you have generations of families that can sing the same songs. By the successful tribute album, Natalia Lafourcade took music that grandparents knew fifty years ago, and brought it to the young crowds of today, and these fans are singing these classic romantic ballads to their children who were also singing in the audience that night. Natalia’s appeal isn’t just for today’s “music buying crowd”, her music is transcending generations and uniting families together with music with “Amor De Mis Amores”.
This portion of the show went by pretty quickly as she ran together many songs from her first three songs with her most popular hits from each album. “En El 2000”, which was her first hit, along with two songs from Casa, and “No Viniste” from her lesser known album, Hu Hu Hu. It was amazing that their wasn’t a song that the fans didn’t know, and everyone sung along with her.
After the blast to the past, Natalia Lafourcade came back to music from her current album and performed two songs, one of which I think became my favorite song. “Mi Lugar Favorito” was the jam of the night as she took her band out from their posts and made the dance with her. Natalia and her band had so much fun singing the song, that you could feel the love she has for her band members and her music. It never once looked like work for her.
Before ending the show with the fun song “Ella Es Bonita” from the album, Hu Hu Hu, Natalia again pulled two more songs from her Agustin Lara tribute album. The fans roared at the end of the show with Natalia shaking hands with the fans as she left the stage, but in traditional Latin concert style, everyone screamed and chanted “OTRA OTRA” (Again, Again) and of course, Natalia returned to the stage with only half her band to perform. Natalia, her main guitarist, and the trumpet player returned on stage for the song “La Fugutiva” from the album Mujer Divina. Then the rest of the band returned to end the show with “Para Que Sufrir” from her album Hasta La Raiz.
I have to say that after this concert, I have so much more appreciation for Natalia has a singer and a performer, but also the music. She has completely changed my opinion on her, as I only originally liked a few songs here and there from her first three albums. Now, I have spent the day listening to her other albums with a changed and more open mind to Natalia’s unique little style and quirkiness. I am glad I was able to make it to the show and I recommend going if she comes to your city.