Monday, July 7, 2008

Pacha Massive live at Antone's

Last Thursday at Antone's, New York's own Pacha Massive played a free show sponsored by Pacifico Beer. Pacha Massive is a bilingual band who blends Latin, jazz, funk and some electronica. Their sound is something I have been looking for in Latin music for a while. I have discovered some real Latin music gems this year at the local level, such as Maneja Beto and Grupo Fantasma, but not anything new in the Latin mainstream.

Pacha Massive is a new group signed to Nacional Records, the same label as recent Austin performers Manu Chao (ACL) and Bostitch & Fussible (Pachanga Fest). Once again, Nacional Records signed an incredible band.

Pacha’s ethnic make up is as eclectic as their sound. Front man and guitar player DJ Nova is Dominican, his wife and bassist Maya is Colombian. The rest of Pacha’s ethnic make up includes Mexican, Italian and Philippine. It makes sense that a group so eclectic in make up creates such an incredible hybrid of genres. This is why I enjoy their music so much and was looking forward to them coming to Austin.

I first heard of Pacha Massive coming to Austin earlier in the week from internet radio program, Rock y Roll Radio. Hosts Paul Saucido and Dacia Saenz did a phone interview with Pacha Massive for a special show and myspace bit. I was even more excited when I heard it was a free show. I immediately penciled it into my concert calendar.

They were the late show Thursday, following a big Del Castillo show in which Los Lonely Boys made a cameo appearance. Pacha Massive went on around 11:30. The crowd (different from the Del Castillo crowd) was immediately into their set and the dancing ensued. Apparently, this is what happens when Pacha infects your ears. Your ears tell your mind “you must get downright now” and you start dancing. It could also be the alcohol, but whatever.

Pacha did not disappoint. Every song in some form or fashion showed off their excellent musicianship, their vibrant personality, and their confident swagger. I absolutely love it when a group dances to its own music as if no one is watching. DJ Nova and Maya get down even while playing guitar. Their chemistry on stage, perhaps due to them being married, is excellent. You can tell that Pacha Massive love the ride they are on with this tour and their new album, “All Good Things”. Only “good things” will come if they keep this up.

I got a chance to go back stage at Antone’s before and after their show to meet them. I wanted to share this with readers before I conclude this blog. Pacha Massive is one of the most friendly, down to earth groups I have ever come across at their level in any genre. They look you in the eye when talking to you, remember your name later, and shake your hand upon both greeting and departing. You’d be surprised how many bands I have met at different levels that do not practice such manners. Thank you Pacha Massive and please come back to Austin again soon. I leave you all with their video for my favorite Pacha Massive song, "Don't Let Go".

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