Five favorite acts from Vive Latino 2014


Vive Latino, the largest and most popular music festival in Mexico, celebrated its quinceañera this year with a four-day festival of music, documentaries, books, and more.

The festival’s competition has grown over the years but Vive remains shoulders above the rest.

There was much to choose from over the four days ranging from classic artists such as Los Tigres Del Norte to younger bands who strutted their stuff in the Rock and Independent music tents. Below are five of my favorite artists who wowed me at the festival.

Coctel Intergaláctico band.(Photo Credit:Fabián Acuña Toledo)
Coctel Intergaláctico – The Alt./Psychedelic Rock group from Mexico City celebrated its one year anniversary at the festival with a thrilling set at the “Rockampeonato” Stage on Friday. The quartet opened the festival with an energetic set that showed a lot of promise in the career of this young band.

Segregados – Segregados has a very unique origin story. The Rock/Ska/Funk/Cumbia outfit features 10 ex-convicts from the Reclusorio Preventivo Varonil Oriente prison in Mexico City. The members turned to music to free themselves from the ravages of prison life while serving time.

The band showed any doubters or nay-sayers that they were no gimmick the second they stepped foot on the stage. The music was energetic and full of life, the loud gasps of former prisoners reveling in every second of their newfound freedom.

Ana Tijoux – My exposure to the French-born Chilean MC’s live music has been at home here in the USA where she’s always performed with a DJ. Imagine my absolute surprise to see her onstage with a full band including a three-man brass section.

It’s unfortunate that this complete set has yet to make its way to the US. Tijoux and her band have a chemistry that is on point and left the audience yelling for “OTRA-OTRA-OTRA.” The best part was in the very beginning when her trumpet player set aside the brass in order to play a giant seashell that may or may not have been found in some Aztec ruins in D.F.

Chancha Via Circuito – Pedro Canale’s opening set at the Doritos dance stage began a bit late thanks to some freaky weather that drenched the festival in rain and hail. Canale remained in good spirits despite starting late, going so far as to thank the rain for cooling the day down.

Canale’s DJ set proved to be timed perfectly. As the opening set, it didn’t slide too much into dance territory or experimental territory. It was a perfect balance of both that gave revelers the opportunity to cheer for his ingenious transitions and dance along to beat-heavy cumbia tracks. It was a seamless mix of the traditional and the modern just like his own compositions.

La Santa Cecilia – What made this L.A. band’s set so thrilling was the appearance of accordion player Jose “Pepe” Carlos on the stage. LSC played in Mexico a few years ago without him because Carlos is an undocumented immigrant. Originally born in Oaxaca, Carlos traveled to Mexico for the first time since he and his family left their home country when he was six years old. His immigration status has complicated things for the band various times but not this time.

Carlos managed to receive a special one-time permit from the U.S. government to travel to Mexico to perform at Vive Latino. The musician performed onstage with a huge smile and his feelings of euphoria radiated off the stage and onto the crowd in this homecoming for the ages.

–Courtesy of

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