Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HopPo! Brought Earthy Sounds To The Bay

How many bands do you know that take a sabbatical year and their members decide to embark on independent projects?  They usually do it to fulfill the creativity which they can’t express with the members of their band and that is how HopPo! was born.

Café Tacvba is currently taking some time off which was the perfect timing for one of the members of the band, Ruben Albarran  to start an independent project with fellow musicians Rodrigo Aros Gho,  Juan Pablo Villanueva, Alejandra Flores & k´kame. The result, a project called HopPo which means “let’s go.”

The band stopped by the Bay Area this past weekend and had two very successful shows, one at The New Parish in Oakland & also at the Red Devil Lounge.  I checked out the show at the Red Devil Lounge and I wasn’t very sure what to expect. I think Café Tacvba is one of the greatest Mexican bands ever and I know how creative Ruben Albarran is but I definitely had no idea what was in store for the show.

The opening acts were Cuevo (a musician from LA with a very melodic acoustic vibe) and Torreblanca ( a band from Mexico City whose sarcastic lyrics talk about issues like infidelity, parents relationships and other typical issues from your daily life.)

Once the opening acts were done, the crowd was ready to see Ruben, the expectation was building up since the people in attendance had never seen what this project HoPpo! was all about. The sound had such an earthy quality to it, the mix of sounds and the tone of his voice were different & refreshing, the show turned out to be quite magical.  Ruben interacted with the audience throughout the whole show.


He also talked about how a lot of the songs that HoPpo plays are covers of songs that have had many covers done in the past, but Ruben’s take of each song was very different.  My personal favorites were La Llorona and the very different version of Mercedes Sosa’s classic Gracias A La Vida.

Overall I was extremely pleased with the show and Ruben’s decision to do this side project was definitely a fantastic idea.

Credits: Club Mercy
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