It's nearing midnight when La Goony Chonga takes the stage at Tucson’s Club Congress, much to the excitement of the army of Gooniez crowded around the stage. All of them are ecstatic, cheering as she emerges in a bright blue crop top and pair of magenta cut-out pants, ready and revved up to perform her new song, "Abanico." And given that it's currently 95 degrees outside, it feels like the perfect time for the live debut of a sensual, high-energy anthem about fanning yourself with an abanico while twerking in the heat.
We're at HOCO Fest, an annual celebration of experimental art and music operating out of the historic Hotel Congress, a downtown landmark that once played host to famed outlaw John Dillinger and is reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of past guests. But unlike other festivals, HOCO focuses on creating an immersive experience for attendees by combining unique daytime programming — like a pool party and sustainability summit — with performances from a diverse array of performers, including cult metal artist King Woman, techno tastemaker Aurora Halal and the indie stalwarts of Warpaint.
After all, as festival director Matt Baquet explained, La Goony Chonga was "an ideal HOCO Fest booking" thanks to "her emerging, Borderland-friendly sound." However, it was also her enthusiasm "to return to our city, mix with the local community and rock a headline slot with enthusiasm," which the reggaeton artist definitely took to the next level.
"My HOCO Fest experience was def one to remember," the Cuban American musician said, before revealing that she ended up getting a tattoo of an abanico with the letters "LHDP," which stands for "La Hora De Perrear," a lyric from the song that's also emblazoned on the hand fans she was selling at the show.
"At first I was thinking to get my La Goony Chonga logo, but the tattoo artist had already coincidentally drawn up a super cute abanico," she explained. "It was all full-circle moment, especially at the end of my show when all my Gooniez had their 'LGDP' abanicos up in the air!"
But don't despair if you missed out this year's event, because La Goony Chonga has you covered. So if you're in the mood to live vicariously through her HOCO Fest experience, you can check out photographer Briana Banda's pics of everything from Goony getting her Diabla Ink tattoo to her pre-show glam session with makeup artist Stefani Annaliese to her provocative and electrifying performance of "Abanico" below.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misspelled Stefani Annaliese. We regret the error.
Photography: Briana Banda (Courtesy of La Goony Chonga)
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