This side of the road

Note: This post has been sitting in my drafts since mid August. The first show was on Friday, August 10th, then second on Monday, August 13th.

Hello, friends. It's been too long.

My year always feels off when I don’t get to see Café Tacuba live. They’ve been my favorite band for ages and I always go to see them whenever they’re in town or close enough for a quick flight up to San Francisco or Oakland.

The last few years have felt a little off (music-wise), but this past week has made up for it. I blew my summer concert budget on tickets for Super Estrella’s Reventón. Well, I planned to blow my budget, but the better/pricier seats were already taken by the time I got to the Ticketmaster website. (This summer’s budget was a lot less than in recent years thanks to other big costs coming up.)

staples for reventón super estrella

On Friday night Sean and I met up with Anel — a new tumblr/twitter friend with great music taste — for the LA radio station’s quinceañera (15th anniversary) concert.

[Sidenote… It blew my mind that Super Estrella 107.3 was celebrating its quinceañera. That seems like a lot of years, but then I think that was only 1997. I clearly remember tuning my radio to 107.3 and doing my AP stats homework while listening. That was the first time I heard classics like “Lamento Boliviano” by Enanitos Verdes, “Oye Mi Amor” by Maná, and “Como te Extraño” by Café Tacuba. I loved those songs immediately. Super Estrella was my first real introduction to the rock en español genre. I’d grown up listening to Mexican music, but was unfamiliar with the rock music that would blow up in the late 90s/early 00s. It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to the radio station regularly, but I’m thankful for the introduction to my favorite band.

Also, fifteen years! Yeesh. That was the second moment that day I felt a little old, relatively speaking, of course. The first was when I was talking about the 1994 Northridge Quake and was surrounded by college juniors and seniors who didn’t remember it because they were toddlers in 1994.]

The Reventón lineup included some of my longtime favorites I’d seen several times (Julieta Venegas, Kinky, Café Tacuba) and some bands I’d never seen (Hombres G, Beto Cuevas from La Ley, Moderatto). I’d seen the headliner, Enanitos Verdes, once at another arena show in 2000. Who remembers the Watcha Tour?

Café Tacuba is down there somewhere. We had crappy seats.

Our seats sucked, as warned by the tickets, but it was still fun to be there and hear some of my favorite songs as well as some of Cafeta’s new stuff. The show started at 6, way too early to get home from work, eat a quick dinner and take the new Expo Line to Staples Center. By the time we had arrived, we’d missed most of Beto Cuevas’ set and all of Julieta Venegas and Kinky. I’m not upset about Kinky, but missing Julieta made me sad since she’s one of my favorite singers.

As usual, I wrote down Café Tacuba’s lineup:
El Baile y el Salón
Las Flores
La Ingrata
La Locomotora
Volver a Comenzar
Déjate Caer
Chilanga Banda
Este Lado del Camino (single from new album)
La Chica Banda


Lucky 13

On Monday night I got another chance to listen to some new Café Tacuba and enjoy my favorites. The show was held at the Observatory in Santa Ana. The venue was very hot and I didn’t want to go on the floor in front of the stage. I got enough of the crowded, sweaty, pushy concert experience when I was younger.

Café Tacuba at the Observatory

In between “Déjate Caer” and “La Chilanga Banda” Rubén Albarrán, the lead singer, led some chants agains the recent election results (“el que no grita es Peña” and “el pueblo se cansa de tanta pinche transa”) as well as claiming support for the recent youth movement, Yo Soy 132.

I know it’s only been a couple of years since the last show, but this time around the guys seemed much older. They’re all still energetic, play solid shows and do the goofy choreographed dances, but their age shows simply in their appearance. Even from the back of the room I could see Joselo’s grays and laugh lines.

I caught up with my cousin Rene and his buddy Edgar briefly before the show. They were dry and excited. Rene’s clothes were soaked through. He said it was worth it as he’s never been up that close at CaféTa show and he got some great pictures (above). Still, I don’t know if it was as cool as the time we briefly met them at a TV show taping (2003).

Café Tacuba

Café Tacuba’s setlist from the Observatory on August 13th:
El Baile y el Salón
Como te Extraño (versión despacio/tempo slowed down)
Las Persianas
Las Flores
La Ingrata
Cero y Uno
El Ciclón
La Locomotora
Volver a Comenzar
No controles
Déjate Caer
La Chilanga Banda
El Fin de la Infancia
La Chica Banda
Este Lado del Camino

Bar Tacuba
El Puñal


Café Tacuba’s first new album in five years, Objeto Antes Llamado Disco, comes out Tuesday, October 16th!

All close up photos of the band are by Rene U.


3 thoughts on “This side of the road

  1. Lloyd says:

    Found your post in desperate search to try and figure out what that version of Lamento Boliviano Super Estrella is playing where the vocals are over the instrumentals to U2’s New Year’s Day, and figured you seem like someone who might know. All I can find are these live version s of moderatto doing it, but the one on the radio sounds really slick (in a cool way) and is devoid of annoying crowd noise. Liked your post very much. It reminds me of hearing Musica livers for the first time at a Caifanes/Maldita Show at the Palladium in the early 90s

  2. I think I know what you’re talking about but don’t listen to Super Estrella often. One of the bands that played the Reventón did this, but I’m not sure if it was Moderatto, Hombres G (probably not) or Enanitos Verdes. I’m going to ask a friend who went to the show if she remembers and get back to you.

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