Colombia’s presence at South by Southwest remains strong with artists representing the diversity of the South American country’s sound. At Speakeasy on Thursday night, rock band Velo de Oza kicked off the night with an energetic bang.
The quintet, which proudly represents the mountainous Andean uplands of Colombia’s Boyacá region, likes to sport traditional Colombian poncho-like ruanas over their rocker clothes and even penned a hip-shaking song in its honor. Their flair, style and humor raise the bar for showmanship skills and make them a fun band to watch live. Between songs, they keep the crowd laughing with their witty double entendres and light-hearted sense of humor.
In order to showcase their unique fusion of rock-pop with the Colombian folk music of carranga, they incorporate instruments such as the tube-like guacharaca, which produces a rhythmic sound when scratched.
Bringing another kind of animated energy on the stage was Medellin rapper Kiño, who was backed by a live band. When a pair of uninhibited dancers dashed near the stage and let loose, it broke the ice for the entire crowd who then joined in and started the party atmosphere that remained strong throughout their set.
Other featured Colombian performers at the showcase, many who have additional SXSW showcases, included reggae band Tarmac, alternative pop duo Pedrina y Río, hip-hop fusion band Duran, and Latin funk band Cirkus Funk.