April 4, 2003

Jaguares’ ritual returns to Tijuana

The Mexican rock en español band had a concert at the Municipal Auditorium in Tijuana, where almost 4,000 people gathered last weekend

Por: Pablo De Sainz

It was almost 6:30 in the afternoon when I arrived at the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium, thinking that the line wasn’t going to be very long. But, by mistake, I forgot that it was a Jaguares concert, which is the most popular rock en español band in Mexico. And I also forgot that raza from Tijuana is very fanatical about songs as “Matenme porque me muero” and “Afuera.”

So, when I got there, what a surprise I had: the line was like a spiral, with hundreds and hundreds of allies with ticket at hand waiting for them to open the doors near 8 p.m. I don’t deny that I had second thoughts. Although I’m a hardcore “caifanero,” I swear I had my doubts about going in. I didn’t want to do such a long line. But I remembered and saw the reality: I had been waiting for almost three months for this concert, and nothing nor anybody –not even the line of about 3,000 people hungry for Jaguares’ music—would stop me.

What I’ve always liked about these concerts is the variety of stuff with the band’s logo they sell there. This time I bought a key chain and a sleeveless t-shirt with the lyrics for “La vida no es igual” written in the back.

After waiting for a couple of hours, the doors to the Auditorium were opened at 8:30 p.m. Unfortunately, and in a very bad manner, photo cameras weren’t permitted inside the concert. One could feel the people’s heat, everybody filled with energy, ready to sing songs like “Fin” and “Ayer me dijo un ave.”

I don’t know if it’s necessary to mention I was really far from the stage. A few minutes later, when Saúl Hernández, Alfonso André, and el Vampiro, finally appeared, they seemed like little dolls far, far away, almost at the corner of la 5 y 10 intersection.

The people started screaming, all at once. The first song of the night was, if I remember correctly, “Quisiera ser alcohol,” a really slow tempo track but that all the raza quickly started singing:

“Si mis plegarías no fue-ran a la Virgen, sino a ti. ¿Qué pensarías, qué dirías si de la noche soy un pedazo? De eso lo que flota entre tus sueños, como una lagrima que corre por tu cuerpo. Lamiéndote toda la piel...” (This song, written by Saúl Hernández, is included in the last Caifanes album, “El nervio del volcán” (BMG, 1994).)

Without thinking, the people, almost 4,000 caifaneros, started singing the song, while they started pushing each other. Poor me, I was seating on the second floor of the Auditorium, and that’s the reason why I couldn’t take part in the slam session that started since the first song.

After “Quisiera ser alcohol,” there were several more hits played, from the new songs such as “Te lo pido por favor”, to the all-time classic, “La célula que explota,” song that, of course, was one the most rooted for by the raza rockera. Before playing “Cuando la sangre galopa,” Saúl Hernández said the following: “In Mexico there should be more men and less machos.” The people, after hearing this, gave out a great roar, similar to those of the jaguar.

Some of the other songs that were included in the list were “Afuera,” “La vida no es igual,” “Así como tú,” “Miedo,” the classic “Perdí mi ojo de venado,” among others. At the end of the concert, I was sweating, with my throat sore because of all singing and screaming.

A crash course in Jaguares history: Under the leadership of Saúl Hernández, Caifanes recorded their first album in 1988. From this production several songs became hits, such as “Matenme porque me muero,” “La negra Tomasa,” “Viento,” “Amanece,” and “Será por eso.” After this album, three more followed as Caifanes: “El diablito” (1990), “El silencio” (1994), and “El nervio del volcán” (1994).

In 1995, Alejandro Malcovich left the band, taking the name with him. At that time, in 1996, Saúl decided to create a new band, titled Jaguares, as a tribute to the feline of great importance during Pre-Columbian Mexico.

Since then, Jaguares has recorded four albums: “El equilibrio de los Jaguares” (1996), “Bajo el azul de tu misterio” (1999), “Cuando la sangre galopa” (2001), and “El primer instinto” (2002). This last album includes acoustic versions of earlier hits.

The March 29 concert at the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium was, without a doubt, a ritual for all the people from Tijuana who entered the ceremony of Saúl Hernández and Jaguares.

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