La Barrera del Sonido

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Recorded on October 30, 2008, in Madrid, Spain, La Barrera del Sonido documents a triumphant performance by Amaral on the supporting tour for Gato Negro Dragón Rojo (2008), their chart-topping double-length album released a half-year earlier. It's a long concert, spanning 28 songs over the course of two discs, and half of it comes from Gato Negro Dragón Rojo, including the hit singles "Kamikaze," "Tarde de Domingo Rara," and "Perdóname." In fact, after the 30-second introductory airing of the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties" dies down, the concert begins just as Gago Negro Dragón Rojo does, with the one-two punch of "Kamikaze" and "Tarde de Domingo Rara." The band then begins performing older material, starting with one of its greatest hits, "El Universo Sobre Mí," the lead single from Pájaros en la Cabeza (2005). Another five songs from Pájaros en la Cabeza are performed over the course of the concert, along with five from Estrella de Mar (2002) and a meager one each from Una Pequeña Parte del Mundo (2000) and Amaral (1998). The emphasis on new material helps prevent La Barrera del Sonido from overlapping too much with El Comienzo del Big Bang (2005), a 29-song DVD release documenting the band's Barcelona concert performance on September 15, 2005, in support of Pájaros en la Cabeza. Amaral is in fine form on La Barrera del Sonido. The vocals of singer Eva Amaral are crystal clear and commanding, sounding remarkably similar to those heard on the studio albums. If not for the occasional interjections, the vocals could be mistaken for overdubbed studio craft. Guitarist Juan Aguirre also stands out, with his riffs likewise coming across clearly and commandingly, if thankfully a bit rougher around the edges than those heard on the studio albums. Besides the big hits and surging rockers, highlights include slower songs like "Biarritz" and "Rock & Roll," the latter of which brings the show to a wonderful close, as well as extended songs like "Te Necesito" and "Sin Ti No Soy Nada," both of which approach eight minutes in length. When it comes to live albums, which sometimes seem like a dime a dozen in the digital age, La Barrera del Sonido is one of the more reasonable releases. Not only is Amaral in fine form throughout and the recording itself of first-rate quality, the band puts on a crowd-pleasing show that mixes greatest hits with a generous offering of over a dozen songs from Gago Negro Dragón Rojo.

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