I’m working on MANY recap lists for the 2010s and one of them is the incredibly daunting “Best Concerts of the 2010s”. Pretty much every single concert I’ve ever attended was during this decade, save for Barenaked Ladies in 2007, Rush in 2008 and Muse in 2009. I was on one in the late 00s I tell you what.
I don’t want to jump to conclusions or anything, but there is one concert that seems to pop back into my mind more often than any others, and that was El Guincho at Le Poisson Rouge in the summer of 2017. I wouldn’t consider myself a superfan of El Guincho’s music, but this show was just so. damn. fun. On an especially hot & muggy Friday of July, El Guincho, the project of Spanish producer Pablo Díaz-Reixa, played their first show in NYC since 2008 (which blows my mind – how can you wait that long??) and fans were clearly enthralled for them to be there. Everyone was dancing, singing along en español, and the band sounded incredible in the small club.
Their most recent album, 2016’s Hiperasia, diverted away from the previous breezy, “glo-fi”, chillwave sound that the band championed in the late 00s / early 10s. Instead the record employed a heavy electronic and hip hop approach to Spanish pop, making for an incredibly unique record that I was not into at first, but eventually grew to love despite its missteps. One song in particular, “Parte Virtual” is a massive favorite that I’ve listened to on the regular since 2016. To this day, I have not heard anything else like it. The stutters of percussion, the volleys of bass, the processed vocals of Díaz-Reixa, the strange radio samples – all of it combine into one song that completely bust my brain after each listen. Díaz-Reixa has of course gone to gain fame from producing hits for Rosalía and Bad Gyal, among others, and this ultra-futuristic sounding album Hiperasia is undoubtedly the precursor to all that. I can definitely hear parts of El mal querer in many different spots.
So wouldn’t you know it, “Parte Virtual” was the final song they played before encores that night at LPR and boy howdy it was a trip. The bass rattled my body, the band nailed the tight polyrhythms, and everyone was danced and clapped along. I don’t want to knock on my friends, but no one I know cares about this song, or frankly El Guincho for that matter. To be surrounded by people who were geeking out to this and all their other hits along with me the entire night was special. Also I realized near the end I was standing next to Xenia Rubinos – pretty sick co-sign there!
In some kind of insane stroke of luck, there’s a video of the whole song along with a few clips of other songs from the night. In another bout of luck, they even included a clip of the second encore where we made the sound & light crew let the band back onstage for another song. It’s at the tail end of the video, where all the lights are on. It was killer. I’ve seen some incredible shows over the past ten years so this one isn’t completely holding down the honor of the best, but it’s damn near close.