MFEST closes with a bang in Chilean capital

DJ sets, hip-hop, and the best of Chilean electro-pop graced the outdoor stages beside cultural center Matucana 100 last week.

Chilean band Astro performing at MFEST at Centro Cultural Matucana 100 last week. Photo by Gwynne Hogan/This is Chile.
Chilean band Astro performing at MFEST at Centro Cultural Matucana 100 last week. Photo by Gwynne Hogan/This is Chile.

Over six consecutive days of energy packed shows, MFEST at Centro Cultural Matucana 100 delivered an estimated 5,000 fans tremendous summer fun without having to leave the city.

From January 9th to 13th, Matucana 100 held one of its biggest events of the year and one of Santiago’s most exciting summer music festivals, MFEST. Matucana 100, located just a few blocks from the Quinta Normal metro station (Line 5), boasts an industrial-sized warehouse that’s been immaculately restored. Its exposed brick walls and tremendous spaces are home to rotating exhibits, film screenings and cultural events.

Fernando Milagro launched MFEST on Tuesday with his acoustic-driven, stripped folk, and Jiminelson’s rocky anthems concluded the evening. Wednesday saw Pedro Piedra’s mellow rock tunes and Ases Falsos synth-rich eighties tracks.

Nearing the weekend, Thursday’s show boasted Los Tetas as headliners, considered to be the godfathers of Chilean funk. Before they took the stage, hip-hop team Sonido Ácido y los Funky Frescos had the crowd grooving with their feel-good, danceable tunes with funky bass and blaring sax. Latin Bitman followed with a grimy DJ set that successfully inspired the crowd of young Santiaguinos to get down.

Friday featured performances by Astro and Dënver, both prominent players in Chile’s alternative electro-pop scene. Astro began the evening with their contagious jungle beats and quirky spunk. With his lion-like mane, lead singer Andrés Nusser thrust himself upon a crowd of screaming onlookers, much to the dismay of security. Dënver followed Astro with a mellower set, rich with eighties-nostalgic tunes that left the audience bleary-eyed and swaying.

Alex Anwandter opened Saturday night at MFEST with his hit single “Cómo puedes vivir contigo mismo?”, kicking off an exciting night of high-energy tunes from one of Chile’s most internationally-renowned pop artists. Anwandter’s funky dance moves stole the show, and his catchy lyrics had the enthusiastic crowd singing along to every verse.

Gepe took the stage next and kept the night rocking with choreographed dancers in colorful costumes. Known not only for club-worthy electronic beats but also soulful ballads, Gepe slowed things down mid-show with a creative acoustic cover of Anwandter’s song “Casa Latina”. Anwandter and Gepe’s impressive MFEST performances illustrated just how far these two artists have come in recent years.

Sunday closed with De Saloon’s blaring rock and Gondwana’s bright, reggae-funk tunes, capping off an excellent week at Matucana 100. For those sorry they missed MFEST, Gepe will be playing at Lollapalooza April 6 and 7. You can follow Alex Anwandter, Astro, and Dënver on twitter or Facebook for news about their upcoming shows.

To see more pictures of MFEST, check out our Facebook album.