(Ramon Aviles/Living Out Loud LA)
Lila Downs made her triumphant return to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles Friday night as part of her ongoing U.S. tour. During the colorful concert she demonstrated that her voice is as great as ever and that her style is still her own.
The tour began Aug. 8 at the House of Blues in Chicago, and that concert was broadcast on Yahoo! Live. Following that show, Downs made several stops in California before making her way to Los Angeles.
The lineup also featured Mexican group Kinky. Despite their different musical style, the opening act was well-received by the fans in attendance.
Downs took the stage at 9 p.m. sharp with a bottle of mezcal in hand, dressed in a vibrant outfit. She began with her hit song “Mezcalito,” from 2011’s Pecados y Milagros.
She was accompanied by her band La Misteriosa and, throughout the set, sang uncut versions of new songs from her latest album, Raíz, and classics such as “Vamonos,” “Zapata se Queda,” and “Cruz de Olvido,” among others. The crowd had a particularly warm reception to “Paloma Negra” and “El Palomo del Comalito,” which pays tribute to Oaxacan women and made everyone get up and dance.
Downs is half American and half Mexican, and both cultures run rampant in her music. She speaks both languages fluently, and this allows her to communicate intimately with fans from both backgrounds. Having grown up in Oaxaca, she immersed herself in Mexican culture from a young age and was enamored with its art. She has also become an activist to fight injustices against indigenous peoples and immigrants.
These experiences have led to a truly unique fusion of styles in her music, and she has taken her songs around the world. All of her songs tell a story that is complimented by her remarkable onstage presence and anecdotes.
Her show was full of substance and left the audience more than satisfied.