Monday, October 24, 2011

Political Activism & Great Music With Calle 13

I was thrilled to see Calle 13 perform at the Fillmore this past Saturday, the last and only time that I had seen them was last year when the band played the main stage at Coachella.

I tried reaching out to their camp, and possibly arrange an interview with Rene but, unfortunately, I was unable to finalize something. I did what any other fan would and bought my ticket three days before the show. The night the concert took place the show was officially sold-out.

The ticket stated that doors would open at 7PM, and the show was to start at 8PM. I was not sure if there was going to be an opening act or if Calle 13 was going take the stage past 8PM. By 8:30PM, there was no sign of the band and instead, a DJ played in the background. In a typical concert night, I would have been more than happy to listen to a DJ while I mingled with friends and sipped on some cocktails, that is if the DJ had been any good. This was NOT the case with the DJ playing the night of the show. I’m usually not one to complain, and I always try to provide a positive attitude to a not-so-ideal situation, however, being the fact that I paid for my ticket I feel the need to vent out and simply say that the DJ was AWFUL! Not only was he ONLY playing old music (mid and late 90s songs) but his way of mixing the songs was just downright BAD! 

I heard a lot of people in the audience complain, and I took to facebook and twitter to vent my frustration. I was also frustrated that it was almost 10PM, and there was no sign of Calle 13. Visitante had waved at the audience from the balcony when he first got there, and that is why, it took me by surprise that the band was still not on the stage by 10PM. At around 10:15PM, the band finally took the stage, the crowd was eager and, in Calle 13 style, they did not disappoint! (The next morning I found that Rene had messaged me on twitter apologizing for being so late to the show.)

Their performance brought the entire Fillmore down the fans sang along every single song. Not one person stood still. Being the political activist that he is, just before performing Pa’l Norte – Rene mentioned Arizona’s Governor Jane Brewer and her abusive and anti-constitutional immigration law, currently implemented in the state.

He also took time to talk about how the governments of many, many countries choose to glorify violence over education, his approval of the “occupy” movement, sexuality and more. Some of the songs that delighted the audience were: Vamo'a Portarnos Mal, Se Vale to-to, Un Beso De Desayuno, Muerte En Hawaii, Fiesta De Locos, Atrevete, Latinoamerica, Pa’l Norte, Tango Del Pecado, La Cumbia De Los Aburridos, La Bala, Hormiga Brava & No Hay Nadie Como Tu, amongst others.

Photo Courtesy: Claudia Guzman
By the end of the show, the crowd had forgotten that Calle 13 played later than anticipated; it was a fantastic, politically & sexually charged show. The following night, Residente, Visitante, Peje13 and the rest of the gang headed to perform in Las Vegas, to then to embark in the South American part of the tour.
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