So, after a few months in Costa Rica, I finally made it to a concert! The first of an international band at least that is, saw a few local bands along the way, but nothing major.
The Venue was quite nice, located inside of the Doce Lunas Hotel’s Garden, so that was indeed quite nice. On the downside, Jungle Jam turned out to be a full American Festival so to speak, from the organizers down to the staff at the bar, not a single Tico seemed involved, and in the crowd there not a lot more, if there were a dozen locals it’s a lot. Not really surprising considering the average wages in Costa Rica and the ticket prices. Although there were Tico tickets available for the whole weekend at 125$ that remains unpayable for most people down here. No single day tickets at a reduced rate for locals, and the normal price was 60$, so not something a local could afford. Even to me, 60$ was a lot, which is why I only went for 1 day.
I arrived at the venue rather late, and the first act I caught a bit of was Michael O’Brian, who play his Ukulele on the side stage, and made for some nice entertainment to start my evening.
After that on the main stage there was Papadosio, a sort of Jamband with a lot of electronic sounds. At times they sound excellent, and suck you right into their groove, unfortunately for me those were the rarer moments of the show. As good as some of the sections sounded to me, others just did not sound “right” to me, meaning that the music was so overfilled with sounds, and rhythms that to me it sounded a bit mushy.. Overall, a decent band, but nothing I would travel far to see.
Next on the side stage there was Hayley Jane, a duo with a guy on guitar, and female vocalist, who had a quite nice voice! And the performance was well received!
Finally it was time for Thievery Corporation whom I was actually at the festival for. They took the stage a bit later than announced, which I consider normal over here at this point in time. They had a full band set up, and actually I counted a total of 14 musicians for their set, among which were 6 different vocalists, my favorite of which was Natalia Clavier who sang Lebanese Blond among a few others, one of my favorite tracks, and they played it quite early in the set, so my mood was all set. The band did seem to have a great time on stage, and seemed to be happy to be in Costa Rica, and in such a nice location, with the Jungle as their backdrop. The set including encores lasted about 1 hour 45 minutes, which I felt was a reasonable length for the set, and atmosphere. Here is where the problem of an Americanised festival in Costa Rica comes into play, for example they played one song in Spanish, and tried to get the crowd to join, however only few actually understood Natalia’s Spanish invitation.. So that sort of failed to work out. Overall, the crowd seemed to suffer a bit from the heat and humidity as there was not too much dancing or cheering going on. In my humble opinion, making tickets at least affordable for locals and marketing a bit to them as well, rather than trying to fill up on tourists, would do the event some good! It would sure make for an even better atmosphere, and maybe give the whole thing a bit more of a Central American vibe, the few locals, and Central/South American visitors were visibly the ones having the most fun, and dancing the most as well.. Don’t get me wrong, Thievery Corporation delivered an absolutely stunning performance, and pulled all the stops for a great show, which it was, but a bit of a local flair from an organizational point of view would have perfected the whole thing.
Overall great show! And great way to celebrate the spring equinox. Not sure it was worth the 60$ for 1 day, as there were not even food stalls on the festival site, but fun nonetheless. In the near future however I am not very likely to go to another festival around here, I think I’ll rather go to some local reggae shows, which even though the music is not all the time in my taste, simply have a better vibe.