To be fair, comparing a large outdoor festival in Mexico to an intimate bar in downtown Austin isn’t exactly like comparing apples to apples. And the NRMAL crowd’s apparent lack of background info on Mena’s music would certainly explain any disconnect affecting the performance on a whole. But last night? Let’s just say it’s going to take a couple of days to wash all the sweat out of my clothes.
Hanging out anonymous amongst the crowd prior to show time, it was unclear whether Mena was nervous or apprehensive prior to her first official U.S. show. As her soundcheck unfolded, Mena would look out into the small mass of festivalgoers as if she were about to BASE jump into the Amazon. The hypnotic synth line from “Perlas” marched as the lights and sound came into form and then…Mena Time.
After feeling out the crowd for the first few numbers (though “Primera Estrella” is admittedly an odd opener), it was “Hasta la Verdad” that made people take notice. Lest the newcomers think of her as some icy disco queen, she instantly upped the electro with “El Amanecer” and “Luz de Piedra de Luna.” By this point, the crowd was entirely at her command, clapping and jumping when told. Even the pedestrians from the connecting showcases began to filter in, seeing how there appeared to be a small party on hand.