los angeles band ozomatli played in shanghai’s zhongshan park 3 years ago at the yue festival and their latin funk, hip-hop, reggae, rock party tunes were a lot of fun and they reminded me of home (los angeles). according to wikipedia, the basis for their sound would be “what you would hear if you drove with your car windows down along sunset boulevard – that mix of music.” seeing them at the yue festival in 2007 was great fun . . .
so when i heard that the usa pavilion was inviting them to play a concert at the shanghai world expo, i jumped at the chance to go. heading down there with my college friend abbie, we got to expo gate #2 at 8:15pm intending to purchase an evening ticket. well, the ticket office was closed and the people there said there was no way to buy a ticket for the evening. “sold out” they said – the only way might be to buy through conveinence stores.
“so where are the cloest convienence stores?”
this was answered with a shrug. well, i had a wild-card and was able finagle two emergency tickets (thanks mla!) but there were at least 20-30 other visitors there specifically for the concert. expo organizers need to plan for this eventuality – and also, if you’re only going for an event, be sure to buy your ticket early! ticket offices close at 8pm!
well, after 20 minutes of arguing at the gate, we finally show up to see ozo. even with the rain, and the crappy sound (in the back it was fine, but when we made our way up front, the vocals were turned way down) – they were amazing. i’ve never seen a band connect with a crowd of non-fan chinese people so well. they played with so much energy, that guys in bad suits and aunties and young people were all up and dancing around. it was so fun. sure i’ve seen great crowd reactions from chinese crowds at shows like linkin park or any of the punk shows i’ve been to, but ozo completely won over an audience that i’m going to presume 95% had never heard them or of them before.
this from a show ozo did the following night (looks like mao shanghai to me) but you can feel the energy in the band.