Last Night: Calle 13 at House of Blues

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photos by Marco Torres
René Pérez Joglar, also known as Residente of Calle 13.
Calle 13
House of Blues
May 10, 2012

Repeat after me: "Ka-yeay, Tress-say." Okay, then, now that we can all pronounce their name, I can begin to tell you how this trio of siblings from Puerto Rico turned a bouncy party song (Atrévete-te-te) into an anthem that helped evolve the group into a revolutionary voice for Latinos across the Americas.

Although that may sound grandiose, this Grammy Award-winning group continues to remain modest and real by gracefully balancing the fun with the forceful. Last night at the House of Blues, Calle 13 gave their fans an inspired taste of what opening act Outernational calls "speaking the truth and causing some trouble."

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Visitante of Calle 13
Residente's unmistakable baritone cut through the silence to open their set with "Siempre Digo Lo Que Pienso" (I Always Say What's on My Mind). Dressed in a white muscle shirt and sweatpants, the rapper wandered across the stage, attracting the attention of the beautiful Latinas in the crowd.

Bald and tattooed, he gives off the vibe of a bad boy who knows how to have fun, flashing an inviting grin while spitting lyrics at a determined pace, making sure you understand every word. His lovely and equally talented sister PG-13 followed him onstage, complementing the dynamic with her strong and sexy attitude and voice. Producer and multi-instrumentalist Visitante served as the bandleader of the group's sound, which included a polished horn section and a pair of vibrant percussionists.

Calle 13 is not easy to classify into one musical genre. Although Residente was inspired by the lyrical style of his friend Tego Calderon, the music the group produces is a mix of reggaeton, cumbia, samba, salsa and rock.

Residente stays away from the gangster persona that many rappers use as a crutch, and instead prefers to associate himself and his raps with those who struggle against discrimination, manipulation and other social maladies that are prevalent throughout the Americas.

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The lovely & talented PG-13 of Calle 13.
I ran into several members of local band Los Skarnales at this show. Felipe, Razo and Chapy all seemed to be having fun. Chapy informed me that the aforementioned percussionists were playing several traditional Colombian drums and shakes, rare items that you just can't go buy at Guitar Center.

A talented percussionist himself, he was mesmerized at the exceptional solo the guys onstage churned out. He stood there taking it all in, letting out an appreciative yell when it was over. Witnessing someone being moved by music to that extent is one of my favorite things about working for Rocks Off.

The night continued with hits like "Nadie Como Tu" and "Beso De Desayuno," and Residente even crammed a bit of his rap from Julio Voltio's "Chulin Culin Chunfly" into the mix (I love that song!).


Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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5 comments
Alexander Larez
Alexander Larez

If we were to Consider "Calle 13" Band a regueton group which they are not! They are Freestyle i would say is best description....Anyways, pretending they were to be a Regueton group, they are definitely the Radiohead/Public Enemy version of Regueton. They are a very deep, cool, great message,  music band...My first choice for embassador to represent Latin America (not just Mexico like most in this country think when talking the subject of Hispanics),...Culture yourself people Come on!

Alexander Larez
Alexander Larez

Nope, just need to clarify that Hispanics/Latinos is not just Mexico. Latinos means Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, etc, etc....In the US generally speaking when talking of Hispanics/Latinos it seems they are normally referring to Mexico. THAT IS WRONG!....Why you ask? Do you have something against the rest of Latin America?....Is a matter of representing everybody equally, as it should be.

Alexander Larez
Alexander Larez

Nope, just need to clarify that Hispanics/Latinos is not just Mexico. Latinos means Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, etc, etc....In the US generally speaking when talking of Hispanics/Latinos it seems they are normally referring to Mexico. THAT IS WRONG?....Why you ask? Do you have something against the rest of Latin America?....Is a matter of representing everybody equally, as it should be.

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