MACUILXOCHITL: “Five Flower”. The Aztec god of music and dance.
By Francisco H. Ciriza
For those not fortunate enough to have attended the Jaguares/Morrissy concert at S.D.S.U’s Open Air theater two weeks ago missed out on quite an experience. The performances by each were ultra-professional and very entertaining.
Surprisingly, the venue was near-full early on in the evening to witness Morrisse’s fine set. His band was incredibly tight and although a little stiff, they proved to be a musicians’ band, one easily appreciated by those versed in musical performances and delivery. They captured Morrissey’s timeless musical appeal and yet etched their personal mark on each tune with well orchestrated arrangements and outstanding musicianship. They even seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Morrissey himself was a treat. Singing with a pristin-voice as if he’d only recently begun his career, he lovingly reached out to his adoring Latino fans, which perhaps may have been one of the most interesting aspects of the evening. The overwhelmingly Latino audience scarcely resembled what one might conjure up as a typical “Morrissey” crowd, but they treated him as one of their own standing up, swaying, and singing the lyrics to every song.
As warmly as the audience embraced the English crooner, they swallowed up the mighty Jaguares eagerly and almost ferociously. The band, looking sharp and well-rested took the audience on yet another wonderous journey of emotion, mystique, and pure rock and roll energy.
Following perhaps the closest thing to a perfect set-list, the Mexican kings of Rock en Espanol demonstrated what it is that has brought them the fame, acclaim, and legitimacy they enjoy.
Front man, Saul Hernandez, obviously enjoyed the evening and treated fans to an intimate eveniing with him and the rest of the group as hey made eye contact with individual audience members throughout the evening, gesturing to them, smiling at them, and conversing with them. His poetic manner showing itself even during his informal yet articulate moments between numbers.
Later, he said, it because of the audience that he so enjoyed himself. “It was the audience. There was something very special there. It was amazing,” the tall, soft-spoken, leader said. His goal of providing the means for interaction between fans, artists, and individuals from disparate scenes was what promted him to come up with the idea of Jaguares and Morrissey playing three southern California concerts, “We don’t expect Morrissey fans to go out tomorrow and buy a Jagaures CD. We merely are seeking the means to begin the process of bringing people together.”
A look around the theater offered the eyes a sea of black t-shirts and brown faces expressing joyous individuals celebrating their musical and in this case, cultural, heroes who carefully yet powerfully expressed and unleashed much more than a musical performance, but moreso a demonstraion of passion, understanding, and acceptance.
This weekend’s Adams Avenue Streewt Fair and Free Fall Festival features some excellent Latino representatives. Lila Downs, Los Mocosos, Los Alacranes along with some others will grace the city’s largest free musical festival this weekend.