The summer music scene is cranking up here in central Mexico. Soon I will be venturing back in to Guadalajara for the big concerts, but this last week in Lake Chapala, the summer music scene kicked off with two great events.
The first was the San Antonio Tlayacapan festival. San Antonin Tlayacapan is a small town a couple of miles from where I live that celebrates its patron saint every year with a carnival and music festival.
Every little town (and big city) in Mexico has a patron saint. The friars that came with the Conquestores wanted to make sure the natives would forget about their native religious ceremonies (they didn’t, but that is another story) , so created patron saints and celebrations. Today, the celebrations include not only mass and processions, but carnival rides, cotton candy, churros, and lots of bands. The bands at the San Antonio festival were all Mexican and all rock.
You should know that here in Lakeside, like in LA or New York or Nashville, there are multiple music communities. There is a classical community, centered around the Chapala Community Orchestra. There is the traditional Mexican music community, which includes the mariachi bands and the banda party bands. There are the Mexican rock bands which perform in English and Spanish and are very good. The gringo rock music community is largely retired former rockers who are now rejuvenating themselves and their audiences with rock, blues, and big band sounds. And they are very good. And there is also a big jazz community, mostly Mexican.
And of course, like in any music town, the communities mix and match with people playing in other genres and bands.
The San Antonio Festival was all Mexican rock. Sonidas Santanas, Electrico La Banda, and Las Sopas got the crowd on their feet and then demonstrated than Mexicans can twerk as well as anyone. The concert itself was branded the San Pola Fest and I hope it continues to grow
Earlier, I attended the Summer Sound Festival on the Ajijic Malecon – the boardwalk and park that runs along the Lake. Wicked Events, the organizers, had set up a large stage and sound and video system for an afternoon and night of Mexican rock. The party started at noon, but I got there later, just in time to catch many of the local Mexican rock bands. Around 5:30 the band I wanted most to see, Mary’s Island, came on, several hours early. It turns out that the edges of Hurricane Blass, spinning off the coast, were predicted to bring heavy rain to the outdoor event so they decided to move the main act up.
Mary’s Island did not disappoint. The four piece rock band built around the energy and vocals of Fernandra Prara, includes Alvaro Medeles, Israel Angulo and Kevin Real – all regulars in the Lakeside music scene who pulled together around Fernandra to form a knockout combination that had people yelling and dancing and conga-lining. Their first release, “Bloom” is now on Spotify – not an easy feat for a young Mexican band just starting out.
It was a great way to start the summer music scene in Mexico , which will include Harry Styles, Carol G., Guns N’ Roses, Daddy Yankee, Ramstein and a host of others coming here to Guadalajara. Based on my first two events, it is going to be a great music summer.
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