There was no attempt at subtlety in the brand placement at the venue. A large screen garishly coerced the audience into buying overpriced Miller Lights, while neon blue logos for Camel cigarettes adorned the walls like nomadic desert ravers. It seemed all too fitting, given just how marketable dance music has become in Argentina.
As soon as Jaar took to the stage, all feelings of falsities vanished. Having been appropriately warmed-up on a medley of African-themed house, acid jazz and more generic, Euro-centric beats, Nicolas Jaar launched his set with a haunting tango song. In his typical style, Jaar combined past, present and futuristic sounds, packing great intensity into every moment and refusing, for what felt like an eternity, to ease the tension. Radio extracts of an indecipherable, Spanish-speaking political rally were juxtaposed with emotionally-charged basslines to create show-stopping buildups, brilliantly textured against the likes of Glowing Palms' "Acid Reign." An edit of Jaar's "Mi Mujer" got a huge reaction from the crowd, with chants of “Nico, Nico” filling every corner of the club. Shifting the tempo innumerable times and ending with some flawless keyboard improvisation, Jaar showed both his musical prowess and Latin-American roots in a maelstrom of musical mastery.
Photo credits: Flori Moreno