Concert Review: Zoé – Modern-Day Poets

Written by David Campos (@magicdave1983)

Live at the Fillmore Miami Beach: Miami Beach, FL – 12/1/2011

If you stay focused and work hard, then you will reap the rewards that come with it. That mantra is constantly put to the test in the music world. If you want to be recognized, you have to put your hours into your songwriting, music composition, image, and the list can go on and on. The fame may come, and even if it doesn’t, you will earn respect.  Mexican alternative band Zoé exemplifies this frame of thinking. With their formation in 1994, this group has journeyed across the musical landscape, paying their musical dues with major label disappointments and gutsy independent success. With 18 years existence, they are still very much alive and still sharing the music with their fans.

It was no brainer to go see them at the Fillmore Miami Beach since the venue is about a 10-minute walk from my office. It’s a perfect dynamic:  Go to work then walk to a show. Even so, it was a chance to see this group on tour following their Latin Grammy-award winning live album MTV Unplugged: Música de fondo. I will make a pause here just to say that album is a must-have for any sincere music lover, regardless of language. True to what I believe, this is one of the best albums I have ever heard. I hope that feeling is mutual to whoever reads this.  With that feeling in mind, I went to the show with respectful eagerness to see them in action. Their notable hits were all very much present in their set list, such as “Vía Láctea” (Translation: Milky Way), “No Me Destruyas” (Translation: Don’t Destroy Me), “Labios Rotos” (Translation: Broken Lips), and “Sombras” (Translation: Shadows).  While their music was intoxicating to hear live, their stage presence was actually kind of lackluster. Lead singer León Larregui, while vocally on point, seemed kind of aloof. The rest of the band played their assigned parts and that was pretty much it. They seemed tired, which would make sense, since it was the last day of their tour. Even with that, I still hope to see them a second time.

Why would I see them a second time if I felt they were lackluster during this performance? It’s very simple:  the magnetic power of this band lies within their lyrics. Their songwriting is some of the best the Latin America has to offer. It strikes your emotional core with brutal sincerity. More than a band, they are modern-day poets. Take the first verse and chorus of the song “Soñé” as an example:

Ruego el tiempo, aquel momento

en que mi mundo se paraba entre tus labios.

Solo para revivir,

derretirme una vez mas mirando tus ojos negros.

Tengo ganas de ser aire,

y me respires para siempre;

pues no tengo nada que perder.

Todo el tiempo estoy pensando en ti,

en el brillo del sol, en un rincon del cielo.

Todo el tiempo estoy pensando en ti,

en el eco del mar que retumba en tus ojos.

Soñé…

 TRANSLATION:

I beg for time to give me that moment,

where my world would stop upon your lips.

Only to live again,

and to melt once more while gazing upon your dark eyes.

I want to be the air,

that you will breathe forever.

I have nothing to lose now.

I think about you all the time,

Within the shining of the sun, in a corner of the sky

I think about you all the time,

In the echo of the ocean that crashes in your eyes.

I dreamed…

If that doesn’t melt your heart to a pile of romantic mush, I don’t know what will. Don’t even get me started on the song “Labios Rotos”. Case in point, Zoé’s place in Latin American music, and music itself, is well-deserved. They have kept a steady course on their career that has earned them loyal fans, success, and as before, respect.  The origin of this review’s opening thought comes from Conan O’Brien. On his last day on the air with NBC, he said, “If you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” Off the amazing award-winning success of MTV Unplugged: Música de fondo, which I will say again, is a must have,  as well the honest dedication to their music, only more amazing things await this band in the years to come.

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