Monsieur Periné: An Evening at Howard Theatre
A buzzing crowd filled the Howard Theatre general admission pit with a diverse audience ranging from classless college students to older professionals that clearly came straight from their 9 to 5’s.
Some dressed in pencil skirts, others in joggers, there was only one thing bringing these Spanish speakers together--- an evening with Monsieur Periné.
Latin Grammy award winning Bogotá group Monsieur Periné made a stop to the infamous venue Wednesday night, June 13th as a part of their Encanto Tropical Contigo Tour. The musical ensemble, originally from Colombia, brought their afro-latinx flavor to the District with a live performance that kept the crowd eager from start to finish.
Seven members out of the original eight were present for the event, with lead vocalist Catalina Garcia taking the lead during the performance. The group performed a rendition of songs including, "Veneno," "Sabor a Mi" and "Nuestra Cancion" to name a few.
Garcia dressed in a brightly feathered dress brought the show to life, connecting to the crowd from the moment her black heeled boots hit the stage.
What stood out most from the 75 minute show? Their uniquely engaged audience.
In the midst of a sea of close to 200 conga music lovers was barely a phone in sight-- a rare occurence in this digital age of the “smart phone.” Vibrant energies oozed out of the crowd as they lived in the moment, drinking beers and dancing with one another, rather than recording the entire event, eventually to live through the lens of their camera, post-show.
If there is one thing that’s certain, it is that this latin powerhouse group has cultivated a specific core fan group that truly does appreciate the gypsy jazz ban’s tunes.
Best of all, their music goes beyond their up-beat dance melodies, many of their songs having a larger message of activism and social change.
“It is possible to change the universe,” said Garcia moments before beginning to sing ‘Mi Libertad,’ a song that narrates a fight for freedom.
"Mis ojos brillan en la oscuridad, Y mi voz hambrienta no tiene miedo De cantar por siempre mi libertad."
Which translates in English to,
"My eyes shine in the darkness, And my hungry voice is not afraid To sing my freedom forever."
The group ended the evening with an encore performance, guiding the entire audience in a group salsa number, the perfect closing to an already vibrant night.
So, next time you see this latin-x group make a tour stop in your city, do not hesitate to snag a ticket while you can.
You’re guaranteed a celebration of music, color, culture and life-- and who knows, you’ll maybe even gain some salsa skills in the meantime.