From ‘Amor Supremo’ to ‘El Renacimiento’: Carla Morrison Lights Up the Hollywood Bowl REVIEW: Carla Morrison at the Hollywood Bowl 8/12/23
LOS ANGELES, CA- The Grammy-nominated Mexican-Tecatista singer-songwriter, Carla Morrison, who’s also a three-time Latin Grammy nominee, delivered a mesmerizing performance during her “El Renacimiento Tour” at the Hollywood Bowl. “El Renacimiento” (Renaissance) marks her first fresh collection of songs since her 2015 “Amor Supremo” album. Released in April 2022, this deeply personal project symbolizes the rebirth of her career. Currently, it’s nominated for the Latin Grammys Best Pop Vocal Album, and its standout single “Encontrarme” is vying for Song of the Year.
The evening started with Morrison’s dear friend, Venezuelan-American artist Devendra Banhart. His psychedelic folk tunes, including “Quedate Luna,” “Mi Negrita,” and a cover of “She Works Hard for the Money,” infused the venue with youthful energy, setting the stage for Morrison’s magnetic performance.
Surrounded by a string octet and backing vocalists, Morrison took center stage, draped in a stunning baby blue custom ensemble with sheer sleeves by designer OLIMA. She began with “Compartir” from her debut album, moving many to tears. Then came “Azucar Morena,” which, paired with the passionate string performance, deeply resonated with the audience.
Morrison, a staunch advocate for mental health, interspersed her performance with poignant speeches. She stressed that “love is the foundation of our existence,” introducing her new single “Todo Fue Por Amor,” which embodies this sentiment.
Highlights included the hauntingly beautiful “Dejenme Llorar” and the affectionate “Pajarito del Amor.” She also delivered a stirring rendition of “Tragos de Amargo Licor,” a song by Mexico’s “King of the Accordion,” Ramon Ayala, dedicating it to her late father. This period of loss and personal struggle also inspired much of her recent album.
An evocative moment ensued when verses from “Papel en Blanco” by the late Uruguayan poet Mario Benedetti played, both audibly and on the screens, leaving the audience with a profound message of “VIDA” (life).
Throughout the evening, Morrison’s soulful voice drew attendees in. Songs like “Hasta La Piel” and “Te Regalo” became collective anthems. As she sang “Contigo,” the Hollywood Bowl shimmered as fans lit up the venue with their flashlights, creating a sea of waving lights.
The encore was unforgettable. “Diamantes” got everyone dancing, while her rendition of “Disfruto” brought many to tears. Special guest Emmanuel “Meme” del Real from Café Tacvba joined her for a mash-up of “Eres Tu” and Café Tacvba’s “Eres.” The night ended on a high note with Ulises Lozano from Kinky and his lively accordion and cumbia rhythms.
I last saw Carla Morrison in 2012 in Mexico City. Impressed then, this recent performance at the Hollywood Bowl solidified my admiration for her. Carla Morrison’s music, in my view, is the “Caldito de Pollo” that soothes our souls, reminding us of love’s embrace.
The dedication of Morrison and her team transformed the evening into a magical experience at the Hollywood Bowl.