The sun shone on a dry Auditorium Shores Saturday afternoon after the free shows on Friday evening were cancelled due to severe weather. But for a while last night, I worried that there was a chance that the Latino concerts would suffer the same fate as they did last year.
In 2015, the free Latino showcases at Auditorium Shores were cancelled because of standing water following a heavy downpour. Disappointed fans never got to see the evening’s headliner, Intocable, which the festival invited back this year.
But thankfully on Saturday, the park’s gates opened and festgoers enjoyed the laid-back vibe that these shows offer. Children kicked around soccer balls, others played frisbee between shows, which started at 2 p.m. with soulful Cuban artist Telmary Díaz followed by Cuban trova singer Kelvis Ochoa. Both of them were featured performers at SXSW’s first Sounds from Cuba showcase.
Kicking up the party atmosphere on Saturday afternoon was 3BallMTY from Monterrey. The group of young DJs who are both SXSW and Pachanga Festival alums helped popularize tribal dance music by mixing regional Mexican sounds with electronica and cumbia. They had fans of all ages bouncing to their beats (look mom, no laptops). That’s right, the guys were making beats on stage as opposed to hitting play on a computer.
The free shows also featured punk rockers División Minúscula, Colombian collective Systema Solar, Latin funk masters Grupo Fantasma, and headliners Tejano/Norteño fusion band, Intocable.