July 5 at Roskilde Festival, Cosmopol
As Rihanna's pop festivities ringed on in the background of the jam-packed Orange stage, another sort of party was brewing in the vicinities of Cosmopol. It was the turn of reggaeton champion Tego Calderon to take the stage, yet upon arrival one was to bear witness to a very-sparsely populated arena with a very sleepy crowd.
Upon entering the stage, Tego casually walks up to the front of the crowd with a very lazy yet confident attitude. The stage set up consists of a larger percussion set, the DJ booth and a stool and table settled in the middle. After giving his brief introduction, Tego immediately fires up with a range of slow, bass fuelled Spanish hip-hop and a couple of reggaeton bangers including 'Chilling' which has the insistent groove of Latin rhythms and got the audience to dance. As most of the crowd were not Spanish speakers, Tego could not win them over with his otherwise clever lyrics with social critique, yet his flow and characteristic lazy voice upon a thumping bass line had hips swagging and smiles appearing. Tego Calderón maintains such immense popularity in the Spanish speaking world, yet here in Denmark the Latin vibes he revolutionised have lost prominence on the soundwaves, so Tego Calderón stood over an immense revival of an otherwise dead genre.
Proving his worth on catchy tracks like 'Punt y aparte', Calderón had the audience swagging, but never reached the pinnacle of a Latin party with all the close and sweaty dancing it normally inspires. It did not help that Calderón seemed relatively uninterested in spurring on the audience, so there was a serious lack of crowd interaction. He opted to sit on his little bar stool and light his cigarettes rather than banter with the audience. Playing for the better part of the hour, the crowd had a foolproof dancing soundtrack for the night, yet a very tepid performance that hindered higher grades from this reviewer. I had expected to see more drive in a man said to be the ultimate promoter of conscious Latin hip-hop and reggaeton.