Kraken is a band that has written several pages in Colombia's rock and metal history. They've been around since the mid 80's and have never stopped recording and touring.
I had the chance to see the band on stage a few times during the 90's, and I always enjoyed their shows. The last one was in 1998… 15 years ago... I'm feeling old as I write this!
I grew up listening to many bands, but Kraken is one f the few bands I saw on stage when I was a teenager. So, when I heard that they were playing at the Canterbury Café and there was no way that I was going to miss this show!
Canterbury Café a really nice and cozy restaurant and bar located in a very lively area of Las Américas neighborhood in Bogotá. Wait a minute... Are we talking about a Heavy Metal concert in a restaurant? With people seated on their tables and eating? The only time I saw something like this before was for Paul DiAnno in a place called Les Moulins in Santény, France and it was horrible.
But this was not the same at all! Canterbury Café is a real Rock bar, everything was well organized, the band had a proper stage, very good sound, very good lights, and even a large TV screen above the stage.
I had great expectations about this Kraken concert and I didn't really know how it was going to be. Kraken's line-up has changed a lot of times, the only founding member still in the band is singer Elkin Ramírez. This has been criticized and some people think Kraken lost its essence a while ago.
Also, they started playing Heavy Metal but through the years they have explored other styles. This leads inevitably to some criticism, but the same happened to Metallica or Def Leppard.
Anyway, I had to see it for myself in order to have my own opinion. I was about to discover if Kraken was still as good as I remember and… it’s still the case! This was an incredible concert!
When I was young I hadn’t seen many bands, so I couldn’t really compare. In the last 14 years I’ve been to a lot of concerts and let me tell you Kraken is an amazing world class live act!
Tonight was not only about music. Kraken is about music, respect and having a good time together. The band and the fans share something special.
People were seated at their tables, but from the beginning, almost everyone was singing the lyrics. Some fans stood up from the second song, and by the end of the concert almost everyone was standing!
Kraken fans are really passionate people. Being seated didn’t prevent the crowds from headbanging, playing air guitar and even crying while singing some of the songs!
There was a moment when a girl on one side of the stage took Elkin in her arms and almost kissed him.
And that’s not all, the people at the table in front of the stage centre were singing every song so passionately, that Elkin went down and sat with them for a minute while singing a song.
The crowds were so loud that Elkin couldn’t sing the first verse of the song Lenguaje de Mi Piel. He called us “The Kraken choir”. It reminded me of the first Iron Maiden concert in Bogotá, when Bruce Dickinson said “OK, I quit” after the crowds sang the first verse of Fear Of The Dark on his behalf.
I think the secret for this kind of passion is loyalty. Kraken has remained loyal to its music and its point of views, so fans have remained loyal to Kraken.
Also, Kraken has some very strong and well written lyrics. For instance in these times of protests, demonstrations and revolutions, lyrics that say “Si no protesto no soy real” (If I don’t protest, then I’m not real) take a very deep meaning.
And of course, there’s the music. All the current musicians in Kraken are extremely talented. They’re really good at what they do and make the songs sound great. All these are the qualities that created such a special atmosphere tonight.
Kraken even adapted the setlist to the needs of the show. The song Silencioso Amor wasn’t on the setlist but they played it as the audience requested it. And Elkin also said that he felt like singing Después Del Final, another song that wasn’t on the setlist, but they added it.
Elkin thanked the audience a few times during the show. He thanked us for exiting and letting Kraken be part of each one’s reality. He made a toast for that and everyone raised their Apostol Beer glasses, even if the band preferred to drink Red Bull and Gatorade on stage.
It was also a special concert or him because his son was at the show.
Elkin also talked about the support that Rock fans give to local, national and international bands. He said that Bogotá has achieved a proper Rock scene and the city has a real Rock culture. Elkin stated that while he was born in Medellín, he felt Bogotá was his home.
Kraken played for 2:30, with no interlude, no pause, and in front of a crazy audience.
There is a word for that, and the word is respect. Respect by the band, and respect by the audience.
It was a magic evening!
One thing is sure and it's that I wouldn't have to wait 15 years for the next Kraken show! They'll play here again on November 3 along with Mägo de Oz and the Argentinean legend Rata Blanca.
An event not to be missed!
Setlist Kraken – Canterbury Rock Café – Bogotá, – September 20 2013
01. No Te Detengas
02. Camino A La Montaña Negra
04. La Barca De Los Locos
06. Vestido De Cristal / Guitar Solo Andrés Leyva
07. Soy Real
09. Cuervo De Sal
10. Seres De Barro Y Miedo
11. Después Del Final
Todo Hombre Es Una Historia
13. Escudo Y Espada
14. Lenguaje De Mi Piel
15. Silencioso Amor
16. Palabras Que Sangran
17. Rostros Ocultos
18. Fragil Al Viento
19. Muere Libre