February 18, 2002

Thousands of exhilarated fans gathered to see the real Alternative sound of Latin music at Calle Ocho.

Yet with little surprises, the event went on except for some energizing and edgy performances that really caught the attention of whoever was passing by the Bud Light stage on 24th Ave.

The afternoon of fusion started with Locos Por Juana a collective of very young Miami artists that blend rap/rock and tropical rhythms with Spanish lyrics surprised many who were unaware of such sound as well as a growing number of fans that came to see them perform for the first time in Calle Ocho. Locos Por Juana is celebrating the release of their debut album with MP Records, a traditionally tropical label that is raiding in the Latin alternative grounds. Locos Por Juana expressed their joy for being there, especially opening for those who they consider their influence, King Chango.

Straight from New York City, it was impossible to pass by the stage and not notice the power of Latin ska/ cumbia/ reggae ensemble King Chango. Members of Philippines, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and US make this band one of the most respected and admired of the Alternative network, some folks even came down from different states just to see them. Unfortunately, the performance was short, as they had to be interrupted by the speech that Florida Governor Jeb Bush gave to all the attendees of Calle Ocho via radio at 3:00 pm, were everything had to be stopped to listen to his words and then sing God Bless America. Their time was up they could even deliver their whole injection of vitality to the audience.

The turn was for Los Amigos Invisibles who, with natural charm, began performing their groovy, sensuous, captivating disco songs to an enthusiastic crowd that, again, had made plans to attend the festival just to see such rhythm masters. A 45-minute show raised even more the already high temperature of the streets of Little Havana.

Expectations were also high to hear and see Andrés Cabas, or simply Cabas, a 23-year-old Colombian who was visiting the US for the first time with brand new production just released by EMI Latin; the self-title debut album explores traditional folkloric dance music form the Atlantic with rock intromissions that are delicious. Thus, his exotic dance moves and musical skills with the piano and flute brought instant admiration for his persona.

The afternoon was concluding but the surroundings of the stage brought increasingly more young Hispanics to see the final act that Bud Light invited to their stage.

Although resembled as alternative, La Mosca (The Fly in Spanish) has managed to enter Billboard magazine’s tops airplay charts thanks to their infectious, contagious and sticky hit songs. Exploiting their immense heritage with murga, carnival music plus their attractive looks and the impact that singer Guillermo Novellis brings to stage, the number one act from Argentina these days managed to deliver the most of them despite the little time left to finish the music program expected to finish by 6 pm.

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