Corona Capital 2014
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City, Mexico, 11-12 October 2014
Usually when you visit Mexico City’s Corona Capital, you’re more concerned about sun cream than wellies. 2014 was different. Fans this year had to overcome a thunder storm, deep mud and a seriously waterlogged site. Still, on the bright side, that does mean the festival is more like Glastonbury than ever.
The two day show got off to its customary sun-kissed start with an upbeat performance by Mø and a more downtempo set from Real Estate. Former Reading and Leeds headliners Biffy Clyro played an early afternoon slot, but pulled a huge audience. It was the band’s first ever show in Mexico, and Simon Neil noted from the stage that it came after “seven years of trying”. Their firecracker performance will have them vying for spots higher up the bill in years to come.
Pond played a later slot, and the Australians’ brand of psychedelia had the crowd in raptures. Some of the biggest singalongs of the day were reserved for Weezer, who took fans of a certain vintage back to their adolescence with songs like ‘Hash Pipe’ and ‘Buddy Holly’. Genuine Beatle progeny Sean Lennon was spotted side of stage, filming on his phone and air-guitaring away.
It was mid-way through Massive Attack’s evening set that the heavens opened. The storm intensified to the point that the Bristol group’s performance had to be cut short for fear that lightning would strike the stage. Rumours circulated that the festival would be called off, and many fans left the site, but eventually headliner Jack White took to the stage to play a shortened set.
On Sunday it was Kasabian’s turn to follow Biffy Clyro by headlining a major British festival then ending up with a mid-afternoon slot in Mexico. Like the Scots before them, Mexicans were predicting they could return to headline here before long.
By this point in the weekend the site was seriously struggling with much of it underwater, and fans unaccustomed to any rainfall at all, let alone storms. Nevertheless, Damon Albarn brought bags of energy to his set even when playing the piano. Flanked by guitarists Seye and Jeff Wootton, Albarn played songs by Blur, Gorillaz and from his solo album ‘Everyday Robots’. He and his band are much loved in Mexico, and each of them had been presented with a piñata in their likeness before the show, which they placed proudly onstage beside them.
Haim’s set immediately after Albarn finished was the last of their current ‘Days Are Gone’ tour. The Californian band waved goodbye in spectacular fashion, and a vast and adoring Mexican crowd were delighted to finally get a chance to see the sisters in action. Este in particular won over the crowd by singing snippets of songs by Tex-Mex icon Selena, the best selling Latin artist of the ’90s.
Thankfully spared any more rain, Sunday concluded with Beck playing a medley of disco hits including Chic’s ‘Good Times’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Miss You’, all while pulling off a flawless Michael Jackson-style simultaneous jacket removal and reverse slide. Finally, headliners Kings Of Leon brought a close to a weekend of mud, mescal and music. It may well have been Mexico’s wettest ever festival, but with so many great bands on offer the rain couldn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.
Photo: Oscar Villanueva