ACL Live Review: Rosalía
Spanish flamenco queen makes a splash
By Raoul Hernandez,
11:15AM, Mon. Oct. 7, 2019
Last ACL Fest, in a potent and populist weekend tag team, the huge Honda stage hosted Mexico City-dwelling Chilean Mon Laferte (Norma Monserrat Bustamante) and Puerto Rican rapper Residente (René Pérez Joglar). At the same site Sunday, Catalonian exotic Rosalía Vila Tobella whipped up an equal Latin fervor.
“Oh, she’s passionate.”
“Stop it. Just stop. She murdered it.”
People every shade of brown came to check out the 26-year-old Spanish flamenco pop sensation on perhaps the last hottest day of Austin 2019. Same as 2018, few walked away unsatisfied – nodding in knowing unison about her talent. She of the black leotard and buttless chaps, plus six dancers in tight whites, a keyboardist with a floor tom, one backup singer, and twin clap percussionists Fran and Nico Santiago-Fernandez put on an hourlong spectacle. The siblings’ four hands and thousands more in front of the stage drove the big-stage dance choreography.
Latin Grammy nominee “Pienso en Tu Mirá,” from last November’s instantaneous convert and second LP El Mal Querer (Bad Love), fairly burst out of the gate. How revolutionary what hand claps can accomplish – basically an entire musical matte (just ask Motown). Her duet with Saturday ACL Fest slot James Blake, who also performed “Barefoot in the Park” without its co-voice, followed quickly. So did mass twerking, onstage and off.
Rosalía’s sultry croon, flamenco clapping, and even a quivering a cappella that cracked nearly Pan-Asian lit up one and all. When she tilted her head back and loosened a bird of prey cry, the crowd responded with a roar the size of Latin America. Adulation comes easy at a megaplatform like ACL Fest. The gentleman signing the performance for the deaf kept returning to imaginary congas.
J Balvin’s “Brillo,” on which she guests, and “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi” shored up the backend of a blurring bomp. At one juncture, the lady of the house took center stage as her dancing handmaidens covered her with their palms in an instant life-art installation moment. Toward the last, she teased the crowd with a sole fan thrown out by one of her hoofers.
The price? A mass “olé.”