It was all about the music on Sunday night’s Julieta Venegas’ concert for her Los Momentos tour at Ace of Spades in Sacramento. Venegas has always been a humble artist and never quite fit in with the other pop divas in the Mexican music scene and last night’s show proved, that for her, it’s the music that matters.
With a simple set up with her four musicians, she took to the stage and opened with “Hoy” from her latest album Los Momentos, an album she’s received critical praise but little air play especially on this side of the border. Los Momentos is a richly infused album with electronic pop and piano driven sound which is a departure from her signature pop and accordion style that launched her career in Mexico and much of Latin America.
The crowd was silent and a little stumbled when she opened with “Hoy” a synthesized piano driven song about letting true love in, which was most likely written about her new born daughter, and unless they were die-hard fans, they probably hadn’t heard this catchy tune, which is a shame. Dressed in a simple pink dress, Venegas addressed the crowd after her second song and told the audience she would be performing more songs from Los Momentos.
With her quiet demeanor, she jumped right back into singing. To some this might be oft-putting, however, she is not one to bring a big spectacle show with outfit changes or backup dancers. She kept it simple throughout the night with the only major changes were her musical instruments from her guitar, piano, and her famous accordion.
The crowd finally started to get into a rhythm when she addressed her audience for “Despedida,” a song she said she wrote about acknowledging a relationship that didn’t work out but accepting and even toasting the end of the relationship just like how it started.
When she played hits from her 2006 album Limón y Sal, the crowed livened especially in “Eres Para Mi.” She let the crowd sing right along with her and smiled when her fans pointed at her when she sang “Tu eres para mi/yo soy para ti” (“You are for me/I’m for you”) and even rapped Anita Tijoux’s part.
Venegas continued to speak throughout the night and told a story of a friend who asked if it was safe to travel to Mexico. “Don’t let fear be the reason you don’t take a chance on doing something,” she told the audience before performing “Vuelve.” Translated into “Return,” the song speaks about her concern with the recent drug-related violence that plagues Mexico.
She picked up her accordion several times throughout her set list including in the crowd pleasing “Me Voy” and “Sin Documentos.” It’s a heavy instrument but she played it so effortlessly even as she danced on the stage.
The show ended with an encore of 2 more songs “Algo Está Cambiando” and “Andar Conmigo,” which the crowd ate up. Although the show seemed brief, it was a modest yet pleasing performance of Venegas, one that not just her die-hard fans would enjoy. She is still on tour and I highly recommend catching her before she heads to South America.