Few pleasures are greater for someone born in the eighties that that moment when Vanito Caballero gets quiet after saying “how great sounds rock & roll with timba!” for all to shout to the top of their lungs “Habana Abierta fucking does it!”There is in this phrase – which lowers the look of timid people- a contained and emotionally charged feeling, claim and revolution that you can say that Divine script is a generational manifesto that has not been written in the last twenty years.
Those guilty of such a thing were a group of young people who had something too powerful to say. The years have turned Habana Abierta into a sort of urban legend that is somehow known through a handful of albums and some comments from people who say they have gone to their clubs in the nineties and the 2003 concert at La Tropical.
But in 2012 the Habana Abierta reunion with its natural audience materialized. After nearly a decade of distance they had a series of memorable concerts that allowed several thousand people see for the first time live authors essential part of the soundtrack of their lives.
When they returned we felt the fierce passing of time on their voices and some absences in the project – without Kelvis Ochoa and Boris Larramendi they would always be incomplete. But last night, in their real environment, the accomplice closure of a club where alcohol is breathed and a musician does not need a microphone to be heard, Habana Abierta gave a luxury concert.
At the Café Cantante of the National Theatre nothing was missing; Vanito , Medina , Barber , Gutiérrez and Nan San Fong- accompanied by Anton Perugorría (drums ) and Julio César González Ochoa ( bass) – played in grace . The lucky ones who knew the concert – and could pay 100 pesos it cost to enter – enjoyed the Bride of Superman coming down the stairs, the confession of the man she is going through the roof and danced rockason with boys in intense revisiting of the classics.
Habana Abierta achieved something that is beyond explanation from musicology or any other science, as alchemists reached the precision needed to achieve a cross, sticky and intelligent music in equal measure. Yesterday’s concert was the ideal to chant with them until you lost your voice, jumping up to the beat of the music and evoke the thousand and one times that sensory memory activated with its tasty rhythm.