ACL Live Review: Mon Laferte
Chilean Bjork-burlesque hybrid slays old-school Latinate
By Christina Garcia,
8:45AM, Sun. Oct. 7, 2018
Although rain delayed gates opening on Saturday, all acts went on at their scheduled times. Mon Laferte, born Norma Monserrat Bustamante Laferte, kicked off her 2:30pm set on the Honda headliner stage to a crowd bathed only in sweat.
The 35-year-old Chilean entertainer known for her union of Latin folk and pop sang cumbias, tango-inspired reggae, and boleros from her latest three albums, La Trenza, Mon Laferte Vol. 1, and Tornasol. First out of the gate, new single “Por Qué Me Fui a Enamorar de Ti,” a love-lamenting salsa, introduced her band’s horns section and Laferte’s romantic vintage sound, echoed in her outfit of a red neck scarf, leopard print mini-pencil skirt, and leopard print camisole.
With a dancer’s precision, she moved across the stage clutching a golden microphone, singing like a Latin Björk-burlesque hybrid. Each movement timed out thrillingly, lending even pedestrian moves a huge payoff. She strapped on a guitar for “Amor Completo,” her red rose ballad to all-consuming love, and delivered this year’s single “El Beso” with coy charm.
The Latin Grammy-winning duet with Juanes from La Trenza, “Amárrame,” captured in one song what pop psychologists spend entire careers studying. Mexican by residence for more than a decade, Laferte read her crowd perfectly with a tribute to late, great Tejano queen Selena Quintanilla. “Si Una Vez” received an inspired reggae twist.
“Tormento” coincided with the one cluster of gray clouds that provided a few minutes of relief from the heat, along with Laferte herself, a stunning talent who provided the best refresquito all day.