Celso Pina, Roskilde Festival Cosmopol Stage (Jul 2012)

**** (4 stars out of 6), July 6 at Cosmopol, Roskilde Festival
The Mexican ‘Rebelde del acordion’ Piña added another chapter in Cosmopol’s rich history of showcasing world music (PR photo)

Cumbia enthusiasts Celso Piña conjured up a performance of credible stature at Roskilde’s Cosmopol stage earlier this evening. The Monterrey-based cumbia dons produced a show that was both impassioned and seasoned at the intimate venue.

I turned up to the show expecting quite the show from the revered ‘Rebelde del acordion’ and received just that; an epic, if not dedicated, performance from one of Mexico’s frontline musicians.

Though Cosmopol wasn’t as crowded as it could have been, Piña rattled the airwaves from the onset of their show, reeling in many an innocent bystander to a show of elevated proportions. Weaving through their brief setlist, Piña hardly put a foot wrong during the concert, playing with passion and Latin flair in what will go down as one of the most crowd-oriented shows of Roskilde 2012 so far.

Cosmopol has been praised by many festival goers over numerous years for it’s unique atmosphere and quaint acoustics, both of which have contributed to providing quite the ideal platform for world music year after year. Celso Piña and co used the comfy surroundings to their benefit, churning out recognised numbers such as the invigorating ‘Cumbia Sobre El Rio’ to a party- driven crowd that gave their all from start to finish.

And whilst Celso Piña without a doubt put on one of the best shows at Cosmopol thus far, one would ultimately be compelled to critique the slight repetitiveness of their driven cambia-based, percussive show. Similarly, a poor showing owing to the fact that few Roskilde guests have ever heard of the act, contributed to forming a concert that was ultimately extremely entertaining but rough around the edges. This notwithstanding, those present at the fourth show of the day seemed to have had a rollicking time, as they danced practically nonstop from start to finish. Celso Piña were the ideal warm-up to Cosmopol’s later show, Colombian ‘Electro Vacilón’ pioneers Bomba Estereo, who delivered a show of monstrous proportions. Saturday’s Cosmopol action features South African electronic maestros Spoek Mathambo and Congolese street musicians Staff Bendabilili.

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