Rastafari en DF

23 02 2011

Just had a really amazing weekend. We played a show in DF on Sunday that was something else, don’t really know how to describe it. We went down in the morning and came back that night, a pretty long day- Sunday was the 3rd and final day of a free reggae festival, and we were the last band. Awesome crowd and energy and almost certainly the biggest show I’ve ever played- consensus was around 1000 people at least. The event was under a tent and altogether it covered about a city block, with space for vendors plus the stage. We got there several hours early and checked out a bunch of the earlier bands- there’s a very cool overlap here between indigenous Mexican and rasta culture that feels very authentic- and as with the indigenous culture generally, which is much more prevelent here than in the states, a lot of people down here dig this stuff. Our own Chiquis usually starts our sets with incense and conchero dance.  And the incense down here is very different than what I’ve come across in the states and is much, much cooler- more like a forest fire than pungent pachouli stink.

Anyway, in a building adjacent to the stage, they also had a nice backstage area – gotta say they treat bands down here right! The last couple shows I’ve played with these guys have had a decent place to hang out plus free food, drinks etc. Rarely saw that with TSC!  They even had a big jug of pulque, a fermented maguey drink that I’ve been wanting to try and finally got to! Kind of a sour flavor which I thought was pretty tasty, although an unusual, syrupy consistency- I dug the flavor right away but as is I think its an acquired taste. Since I first heard about it I’ve been toying with this idea to try and start bottling it- I’ve never seen it in the states, maybe the hipsters would dig it… Anyway, by the time we played, it was dark and the crowd had a really good vibe- people dancing, singing etc. And it wasn’t just the usual kind of crowd I’ve played for – lots of families there too, with young kids. They even had proper monitors, so we could hear pretty well and I was told it sounded great in the crowd. And thankfully bassist Ariel’s novia took a bunch of photos for me! Just a terrific show, one of the best times I’ve had since I got down here. Only downer was I left my glasses in the van during the day and at some point they got smushed! Hence my sunglasses in the photos- trying to be a proper PC volunteer so I’ve glued them back together, so far so good…

Also, along with a few people from work, last week we went to a classical music concert. It was up at the local campus of UNAM, which is the largest university in Mexico. Not surprisingly, its mostly in DF, and it has something like 250k-300k students! Easily 2-3x the biggest schools in the states. But here in Qro there is a campus in Juriquilla (a nearby suburb) with a beautiful, brand new campus. The buildings would look at home anywhere in the states. There’s even a strip mall off the exit from the highway with a Carls Jr and an IHOP.  Anyway, we saw this trio who played music from the early renaissance. It was a flautist – or what I would call a recorder player – who is from Mexico, another Mexican dude who played the harpsichord, and an Israeli on viola da gamba. They were quite good, but what was really far out was the outfit of the flautist, Horacio Franco, who was the star of the show.  Pictures don’t really do him justice- tight black leather pants, cowboy boots and a red silk shirt open to practically his waist. Quite a sight. He would have been borderline ridiculous, but fortunately the dude had the skills to back it up. Good times all in all. Thanks to Tere for taking us up to get tix, and driving to the show!

I also reconnected at a party in town Saturday night with some folks I initially met during training, who run a local manufacturing business. After the party, a few of us went and checked out some cuban music at a little club in the centro. There really is a lot of stuff like that going on in this town. Great to bump into them and going to try to stay in touch.

Anyway, that’s about it- got some more shows coming up in the next few weeks, starting this Thurs here in Qro. And I found out I may get to play with Chopper at the stadium for an upcoming Gallos Blancos game- they’re the local football team- should be a fun month!


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25 02 2011
Chez Szlasa

Hell yes!

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