Few things disappoint more than scoring tickets to see your favorite artist in concert only to discover that their live set falls short. Not every musical group is made for the stage, and truthfully, that’s okay. But for those artists that really come to life when performing for a live audience, we can’t wait for the day to be standing in a crowd and watching them do what they do best again. We put together a list of some of our favorite artists to catch live, because even though it might feel far away at the moment, concerts will return one day soon!
While every member of this 10-piece Afro-Cuban funk ensemble brings their individual flavor to the stage, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that the real star here is Mr. Cimafunk himself. With a star quality that shines brighter than his shimmery sequined pants and glistening, sweat-covered bare chest, Cimafunk’s James Brown-inspired dance moves will enchant any funk fan.
The eclectic and funky Brazilian group Bixiga 70’s live set is truly from another planet. This band manages to blend the vivacity that is Brazilian culture with the power of a 10-piece funk band, and the results are deliciously exhausting. Each song feels like a masterpiece, taking so many twists and turns and exploring various afrobeat-inspired rhythms and grooves. Just when you think you can’t possibly dance anymore and you might be awarded a moment to catch your breath, they start right back up, weaving psychedelic interludes with horn-driven funk ballads until they finally give you permission to pause for just a moment until it starts all over again. Bixiga’s live set leaves us wondering if it’s more exhausting to play in the band or dance in the audience!
It’s not always a 10-piece funk band that makes a great live set, and Argentine folk duo Perotá Chingo shows us just that. With nothing more than their synchronized harmonies, a guitar and occasionally an accompanying percussionist, this duo creates a richness that makes you want to close your eyes and get lost in their voices. Their casual nature and often improvised performance style lends itself well to an intimate acoustic performance. The kind that reminds you of the warmth of sitting around a campfire amongst your closest of friends. In our opinion, the smaller the venue, the better for these two!
Sessa’s live show is for dreamers. Close your eyes, let your hips sway back and forth to that sexy Bossa Nova rhythm, and just allow yourself to get lost in the dreamy backing vocals. Even if you don’t understand the Portuguese lyrics, Sessa’s voice is so sweet and gentle it conjures up otherworldly images of floating through a tropical paradise island full of sweet fairy nymphs and nectars. Mixing elements of classic Bossa from the 60s with moments of jazz and beyond, Sessa is a pure delight to experience live.
Son Rompe Pera
If you’ve never gone to a cumbia-punk dance party, you are most definitely missing out. From the outskirts of Mexico City, Son Rompe Pera’s unique fusion of classic cumbia rhythms with garage-band-punk makes for a carefree live show. One that encourages you to break all the rules of traditional dance to just move whichever way your body feels. While the traditional marimba instrument keeps the music rooted in the classic cumbia rhythm, the vocals take twists and turns as rebellious as punk music itself, and the result is something truly unique and fun. One thing is certain with this band – they’ve already broken all the rules themselves, so the only thing left to do is let your hair loose and dance whichever way the music takes you!