The intimate and elegant Green Dolphin’s infamous Monday-night Boom Boom Room was the perfect venue for the splendid July 26th performance by Colombian all-stars, Bomba Estéreo. Liliana Saumet, lead vocals, gave a robust and vital performance. Her raspy voice and lightning quick lyrics flowed from the stage like lava, igniting the audience and setting the roof on fire. Celebrating the culmination and monumental success of Chicago’s very first annual, Colombian Music Festival, Bomba Estéreo brought the impressive roster of incredible artists to a climax. Bomba Estéreo, recently announced by MTV as the “world’s greatest band,” definitely proved its worth with a crowd of cumbia crazed fans. From Colombia to Cuba all the nations of Chicago’s rich diasporic Latin American communities packed the house in support of the Festival and Bomba Estéreo’s powerful performance.
Bomba Estéreo set the Green Dolphin ablaze with their brilliant fusion of cumbia, champeta, electro tropical, afro-Colombian percussion and Saumet’s exquisite lyricism. Her brazen voice and vigorous lyrics, among the ranks of M.I.A. and La Mala Rodriguez, carry like an echoing firetruck siren against the rough urban treble that blisters and simultaneously saves the masses as it passes. Bomba Estéreo’s soaring songs carry everyone’s heated passion for life and the steamy dreams of a multitude of sweltering souls desperately in need of a cool relief, a cold beer and a good dance to sweat off the frivolous and petty squabbles of life.
With their last song of the ample and impressive evening, “Fuego,” their international hit on Nacional Records, the crowd exploded into a fiery brush of bodies. Chicago almost burnt down for the third time last night, as Bomba Estéreo erupted the evening with sonic fireballs and the sultry, smokey swill in Saumet’s voice. Like two flints striking together, the hip-hop, techno cumbia stylings of Bomba Estéreo damn near gave everybody third degree burns as they sizzled the stage with their titillating timbaos and psychedelic guitar solo’s rivaling Santana and Hendrix. With their subtly synthesized and heavy subs, dance hall roarings and bass bumping beats, the crowd grooved the night away. The shakes and shimmies could reverberated through the Chicago river, and the shock waves and nearly cataclysmic fire set by the performance was reported as far as the coast of Colombia.