In all my years going to Festival Rock al Parque, few times I have gone to the Sunday session. Why? Generally, is fill with unorthodox choices as part of the lineup. This year was not the exception, but for those with an open mind, the day was full of pleasant surprises. There were bands from very different genres during the day, so if one would preferred to have a cleanse between acts, it would have had the opportunity by switching stages and give the acts present a chance.
I arrived early through the Scenario Bio and it was a different atmosphere from Saturday. In this scenario, the acts were more in tune with the tropical end of rock, so as one may expect it went tropical from the start. As I was entering the venue, loud were the sounds coming from Ghetto Warriors, a band from Medellín that thrives in the sounds of reggae. Not for everyone taste, but it did captivate my attention while I was walking all the way to Scenario Plaza.
On my way to the Scenario Plaza, I sensed a difference in the people attending. Saturday is a very “dark” day in terms of the colour you walking around the venue. It is black anywhere you look, with the exception of some hints of red and blue in someone’s hair. Sunday is different because of the tropical hints of the day, and some hardcore bands involved, the attendants on this particular day are more varied and it can be more relaxing depending on your personality.
Once I arrived at Scenario Plaza I had the chance to check the Spanish band Against the Waves. This melodic metal hardcore had an energetic presentation despite the early hour (14:30). I found very particular that this band, despite its Spanish origins, sings in English most of the songs. One of the songs I witnessed was ‘Committed to Fiction,’ to which most of the audience mosh in the very hardcore way. I am not a big fan of this kind of mosh, but it certainly made those in the mosh very happy. Against the Waves had a very positive reception and I am sure they left a longer impression on those that arrived early to Festival Rock al Parque.
Next to Scenario Plaza, it was time for one of the local bands called Razón de Ser. This first timer into festival Rock al Parque showed a very solid show this afternoon. After the discharge of hardcore, it was nice to hear something with a different tempo. With ‘Tu Angel Es Demonio,’ ‘Se Consume en Tus Manos’ and ‘Rojo;’ Razón de Ser gained new fans with their performance. A great exponent of alternative rock in Bogotá and I wish I could see more, but it was time to switch stages and have a cleanse on my ears.
Los Elefantes are one of the most iconic Ska bands in Bogotá. For those into this kind of music, this band brings memories from high school or even early in college. I am one of those that gets back in time every time I heard the band. Los Elefantes played around 3:30 p.m., an hour that some of the most acknowledgeable of people of Festival Rock al Parque say it is a death trap because most people arrive after 17:00. Well, that was not the case for these Ska legends as Scenario Bio was full of old and new fans that were ready to sing-along and dance like no one was watching. And so, we did. It was rough an hour set that brought joy to my heart. Always a solid and well thought band when it comes to going in and out of the stage. It is always a pleasure to see them live.
At the Scenario Plaza, hardcore was taking its peak with the presentation of Sick Of It All. Celebrating their thirty year anniversary with Colombian audiences, this legendary hardcore band brought it all from the east coast scene. Despite being a 30-year-old band, these guys never gave into exhaustion, proving how dedicated they are to their craft. Keeping things old-school, enough for every person on that stage got the best of their set, by playing those short but powerful song from beginning to end. Songs like ‘Us vs. Them,’ ‘Injustice System,’ ‘Road Less Traveled;’ broke down the house. Once again I had a cleansing moment from all the brutality of hardcore with one of the surprises of the day.
Bambarabanda is an alternative rock band that took many aspects of South Colombian Andean region, culture and music to blend it with rock. It was a pleasant surprise as it had a very earthy feeling from the start. A more upbeat band than those that played thus far at Scenario Plaza, Bambarabanda lightened up my mood and gave me a smile to keep on going with the day.
Omnipresence is not part of my powers, but I did my best to make it on time to listen to some of Compadres Recerdos. This band is an acquired taste, for it mocks, perhaps too much, to those purists in rock and punk music. They bend the limits of propriety, solemnness with the most bizarre of lyrics, which I truly hope are sang jokes otherwise a lot of people may get discomfort by it. Some of the songs titles can be only relatable to people that grew in Colombia, so for foreigners, it will be completely ridiculous. On stage, they have a great energy, but then again, not apt for purist of any kind, as their outfits resemble more those of hip-hop artist.
Soon enough, it was the time for Los Viejos to take the stage at Scenario Plaza. I must say that it was the first time I see them life, and they really killed their set. It was amazing! A power due, something that is becoming common these days, came with everything they got to the stage. I was amazed at the energy they had and how comfortable they seemed on that big stage. Originated from Mexico, this skate/punk/thrash band made everyone at Scenario Plaza jump around a mosh to their beat. They played songs like ‘Caderas Punk,’ ‘Arruga,’ and ‘Ace of Spades’ from Motörhead with which the public went nuts singing along.
The last act I witnessed was Cuentos de Los Hermanos Grind. A well-known act for many locals, most of said fans were expecting a great show; however, in my opinion, that was not the case on Sunday. Most of the time in between songs, they guys from Cuentos de Los Hermanos Grind had an enjoyable exchange of words with the audience, but this time, the silences in between takes were abysmal. There was no fluidity in the set and it became boring after a while for those that are too familiar with their songs. It was a shame because this band has great potential for live performance.
So, that was the end of my visit to the most alternative day of Festival Rock al Parque. I had the chance to dance, to mosh and to headbang in one day. I must say that I enjoyed the variety, for I am not a purist. It was fun, and I got the chance to check “Distrito Rock” and to walk around the festival to feel the essence of the day.