Laferte has star quality

Orpheum Theatre, Boston, May 6, 2024

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Mon Laferte may not be so well known in the non-Latin music world, but based on nights like this, that should change for the Chilean/Mexican singer. Perhaps taking a cue from Lady Gaga and Madonna, Laferte offered a theatrical, lively presentation.

Laferte was not an artist to be pigeon-holed genre-wise. She covered a lot of musical bases over the course of a generous 2 ¼-show with a heavy emphasis on Latin music sounds, such as cumbia along with pop and rock. Bossa nova was certainly part of the mix on a number of occasions. Even opera (the closing "Casta Diva").

There was a tremendous amount of thought and effort put into her show. For example, the opener "Tenochtitlan" found Laferte with only herself and a female drummer positioned to the side. While no one else was on stage, Laferte apparently was (unfortunately) using backing recordings to enhance the sound.

Later, the band – an acoustic guitarist, trombone and trumpet player plus the drummer – filled out the sound, far more satisfying than using recordings. Why sometimes a minimalist approach and other times a band was not exactly clear, but there was a tremendous amount of activity throughout.

What needed no augmentation was Laferte's singing. She certainly could go into overdrive, but she also could dial it down and retain that sense of power with vocal restraint. Over the course of 30 songs, there was pretty much no let up in owning the songs no matter the style or pacing.

Laferte closed with a few slower numbers – the horn heavy "Amor Completo" before launching into the closing number of the regular set, the love-gone-south ballad "Tu Fala de Querer." The crowd sang along on both as they often did resulting in Laferte, who was on electric guitar, not even singing at times on the latter.

Perhaps the best segment was when opening artist Ximena Sariñana came out to do a few songs with Laferte, part of an extended, relaxed stretch where later, she and her guitarist held court.

And then there were the four dancers – none of them exactly young or particularly athletic looking, defying stereotypes. They were really good at what they did, which was to adorn a lot of the songs, often in a homoerotic way with heaps of choreography.

Sometimes they seemed to be the boy toys of Laferte and other times emasculated, such as when they wore white nightgowns dancing around in a circle. More times than not, they seemed to take centerstage, far more than the band. The dancers were over the top at times and bordered on campiness.

Laferte smartly utilized the backing screens throughout to add a lot of color in an often times visually stunning presentation because this was more than a concert.

In fact, the Laferte segment of the evening began with a trailer from Netflix for a forthcoming documentary about Laferte.

And in keeping with a multi-media concept, the night closed with a long list of credits of who made the tour happen. Laferte doesn't do things the regular way. In between, she also included a cool backing of a bunch of framed eyeballs with many of them having tears.

Laferte was one captivating, engaging performer. Sometimes a bit over the top and too choregraphed. Bottom line, though. Laferte has star quality.

© Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
Visit our sister publication Country Standard Time