Mile High Music Fest, day two: Ozomatli gets it hopping in spite of the heat

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

When I interviewed him a few weeks ago in advance of his appearance here, Raul Pacheco, guitarist for Ozomatli, told me he wanted to invite audience members to bring instruments and join the band to jam onstage -- and while the band didn't entirely deliver on that promise (I'm guessing venue regulations had something to do with it), the members did get down and jam with the crowd.

A longtime fixture on the LA scene, Ozomatli dabbles in an eclectic blend of genre music -- reggaeton, ska, rock and old-school hip-hip were a few of the prominent ones -- at times with unexpected results.

Onstage, emcee Justin Porée laid down flows that ranged from Beastie Boys sing-song rhymes to signature Zach de la Rocha-style spitfire, bantering with the crowd while the band segued, often cleverly, between songs with little interruption, and in spite of the insane temperature, the band managed to get the crowd jumping. The best moment, though, came at the end of the set, when the band broke into a chant with the lyrics "Ozomatli ya se fue" (Ozomatli's gotta leave, basically) and, one by one, the members jumped down into the crowd and jammed with percussive instruments. Which, you have to admit, is almost even better than the original promise. Ozomatli's been around a long time, and it shows -- the band put on a truly bang-up show.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.