Robe: balm for scars



In the heat of the whirlwind due to the cancellation of the Extremoduro tour, its leader arrived in Rivas on the solo tour presenting Mayútica, a round symphonic rock album. I entered full of prejudices. Prejudices on the voice of Robe Iniesta, thinking head in the band; prejudices about the lyrics (as poetic as they are repetitive), prejudices about the musical current it represents …

It started with ‘Today I renounce the world’, and they began to take away from me. The band came out in order, each one taking their instrument to, in ostinato, begin to play the song. Six musicians later Robe came out, with hair and guitar. Good topic and a statement of intent.

Then ‘Guerrero’, a symphonic rock label, which is the label that comes closest to what Robe’s music is: tempo changes, elaborate rhythms, modulations and a ragged voice. After the song, Robe disappeared backstage for half a minute and I have no doubt that some technician received a reprimand. The sound was lamentable and for the next one, the hymn ‘Si te vas’, had improved. The arrangement of this song, with which so many have wept, is worthy of study. Violin first, a climax, low energy, saxophone, stop again … Show.

Total change of style in ‘El cielo Cambio de forma’, a curious song between flamenco, tango and progressive rock. The sound continued to be a disaster throughout the concert. Someone enlightened, I find it hard to believe that it was Robe after so many years playing in stadiums, he overestimated the power of the hired speakers (or did some little trick with the supplier), because everything sounded on the edge of the coupling. A lot of detail and colors were lost, especially in the ballads. It is true that the Rivas auditorium, being so open, is not the best place for music but it can (should) sound better.

In ‘Golfa’ and ‘Transient Madness’, funny songs, it seemed that Robe suffered a bit when climbing. In the latter there was even a slight out of tune, which does not stand out especially because Robe does not sing on the note. His voice is more broken than ever and his vocal attitude is reminiscent of that of Sabina or the most neglected Dylan: men who, without a voice, have earned their living singing. Trade is called; hours of flight, as someone told me recently talking about something else.

One of the most prominent was ‘Contra todos’, with a letter in which the idol undresses in front of his fans. Good guitar arrangements between phrases about a fantastic work by the musicians, among which the pianist stands out. In this song you can see the great band that the Extremaduran surrounds himself with, which goes from rocker ecstasy to whispering in less than one measure, which at the speeds they play are a few tenths of a second. ‘Un suspiro pompasado’ also shone, a song with a similar idea but that shows more of Robe’s facet of composer.

The band, which must be one of the best on this side of the Mississippi, takes the singer further than it should. I wonder, I who have never seen him with Extremoduro, if they clothe him even more, because it is difficult. It is a live show, not a disco show, and Robe – only with his songs – is not enough to fill such a large audience.

Great version of ‘Sweet introduction to chaos’, one of which the entire audience sang. In the hits, Robe is carried away by his people and the relationship they have is special, one that without a doubt they wish they had many legends.

The songs are raw, like the world they describe. The guitars create layers that are not especially ‘clean’ (they clash sometimes), the choruses are sometimes more chaotic than bright, but it works. One more example of what music can do if it can touch people’s hearts.

After the break for urination and refreshments, they returned to the stage with ‘Interlude’, taken from the new work, ‘Mayútica’. Another good song from a composer who knows what he is doing, spun with the first movement of the album, ‘After the catharsis’. It is a very mature job; the chronicle of a life full of adventures transformed into popular wisdom and, surprisingly, the vast majority of fans already knew the lyrics. They kept going over it in order, playing the six (long) songs that make it up with hardly any stops. I was so surprised that people got up from their seats, not with the songs of ‘Extremo’, but with these, which are barely four months old, that I stopped looking at my mobile to write and turned it off.

I heard the end, apotheosis, but I did not hear it. I looked around me, I saw my fellow citizens happy, and I thought … «It is the music of scars, of the early riser and calloused hands. I want to, and want, and want, but I can’t; of the world forgotten by fiduciary and scavenger neoliberalism. It doesn’t matter that the music sounded bad or that singing didn’t have its best day; it is the music of the people and Robe is one of us ». And that’s how I lost several prejudices.

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