***** (5 out of 6 stars); July 6 at Cosmopol, Roskilde Festival
Bogota darlings Bomba Estéreo set Roskilde Festival’s Cosmopol stage alight with an impeccable performance that topped their 2009 debut at the event. Following in the footsteps of a blockbuster show by cumbia kings Celso Piña earlier in the evening, Bomba Estéreo delivered a performance that may well go down as one of the best of Roskilde 2012.
As something of a recognised commodity at the festival following their 2009 debut, Bomba Estéreo were up against the feat of topping their first Roskilde to date, a task they carried out with some dexterity.
I turned up to the show expecting the Colombian pioneers of ‘electro vacilón’ (electro tropical) to deliver a show of epic proportions, following a credible performance by warm-up DJs who did their bit to stir up the crowd with a scintillating mix of thumping electro beats riddled with pronounced rock guitar interjections. Although the DJ performance was impressive, it was left comparatively insignificant in the wake of a fiery appearance by Bomba Estéreo. My expectations were neither too high nor too exaggerated, as the Colombians were solid from the word ‘go’, playing a concert that was both clinical and extremely entertaining all in one.
Following in the footsteps of performers such as The Streets, Bomba Estéreo managed, midway through their show, to get the audience to crouch low and light their lighters in a show of solidarity, a feat that is seldom achieved at Roskilde, less so at such an early point in the proceedings. Lead singer Lilliana Saumet was on fire as she rapped fiercely and evocatively to the live acoustic backings of songs such as ‘Fuego’ and the driven ‘La boquilla.’
Backed by one of the most impressive light shows I’ve seen at Roskilde so far, Bomba Estéreo hardly put a foot wrong and clearly demonstrated why they are one of Colombia’s top acts of the moment.
Roskilde’s Cosmopol stage has rarely seen a show of such proportions. It is hard to see how any of the acts playing there over the coming days can top what Bomba Estéreo did earlier tonight, though this reviewer remains ready to be pleasantly surprised.