The Chilean showcase at Maggie Mae’s later that night was surprisingly good. Despite the absence of acts like Javiera Mena, Denver, and Odisea, the show was curated quite well. Fernando Milagros brought some harmonica action and invited his buddies Pedropiedra and Gepe to play with him. It’s awesome and kind of adorable how they are all friends and play in each other’s bands.
Next up was Francisca Valenzuela, who was wearing a leopard print top, which made me love her immediately. Plus she really got down with her keyboard, so total stamp of approval from me. She was followed by the Austin/Santiago-based pop rock band Intimate Stranger, who I actually didn’t hate despite my apprehensions about them. They played a solid set, nothing special and a little too long, but not awful. I didn’t hear their entire set, though, because I ran into Orlando, and we had a nice chat about his time in Austin and how it’s great that there is a decent Latin American presence. But we both agreed that it would be better if these Latin artists got to play more showcases outside of the strictly Latin ones.
Then Gepe was up and you know I had to devote my full attention to him. Dude was wearing a grandpa vest that I was dying over. Sorry if this is Gepe overload for you (there’s still an interview coming), but when you’ve waited as long as I have to see him and don’t know when you’ll be able to see him again, things get serious. He played “12 Minerales,” which is my jam and closed with a stunning performance of “Celosia.” I can die happy now.