Ozo fans were packed to the rafters, and ready to shout.
The “Unity in Diversity” sign was hung above the stage with care
In hopes that Ozomatli soon would be there.
But before I knew it they had special guests:
New member Tre from the Pharcyde, Chali 2na and best,
A man in glasses who asked if it wasn’t too late
To please make an effort and remember the “San Francisco 8,”
A group of individuals charged with murder in ’71,
A police officer killed, and eight lives undone.
Confessions extracted with torture and malice –
A political topic brought into the Blues palace?
Since their inception over a decade ago, Ozomatli’s principal goal has been to enable political activism through the power of music. And their music is oh-so-powerful.
As they started their set with “Dos Cosas Ciertas” from their album Embrace the Chaos, I could feel that being at an Ozo show was about more than just an amazing musical experience. Their fluidity as a band mixed with their uncompromising core values of human rights activism extended off the stage and into the crowd, sending a live current of brotherhood, sisterhood and groovehood throughout the House of Blues.
Lasting over two hours the set was one of the longest I’ve ever experienced, but seemed to fly by as they skillfully displayed their eclectic range of influences that included salsa, cumbia, hip-hop, dub and Middle Eastern funk. On top of all this they had special performances from rapper Chali 2na, a.k.a. the “Black Socrates,” and the newest member of the band, Tre from the Pharcyde.
When Ozomatli finally left the stage well after midnight all I could think of was, “Oye baby, oye mami. ¿Dónde está la afterparty?”