La Santa Cecilia
Date: February 18, 2017
Location: Valley Performing Arts Center
It became quite a journey as I made my way to this concert. First off I did not realize the biggest storm in six years to hit Southern California was occurring weekend. Luckily the storm hit Friday so that by Saturday only small drizzles take place randomly throughout the day. I also did not take into account the 90 minute distance Northridge is from my home. The parking situation was not complicated but took me a while to figure out how to get free parking. As I got everything together I entered the venue right when the first song concluded.
The concert turned out to be an incredible, memorable experience. This concert was better than their Muertos Boogie! show which they threw last year in Pomona. For me that particular show was the best one that I attended in 2016. From beginning to end La Santa Cecilia took the audience on a wonderful journey through different styles of Latin American music that translated into glorious night. Lead singer Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez twirled on stage wearing a pink Día de Muertos themed skirt as she gave life to every song that evening. Jose “Pepe” Carlos who dressed in black was a sight to view as he impressively played both the accordion and guitar with such raw talent. Alex Bendana, also in black, displayed his mastery of the guitar as he played multiple ones song after song. Miguel “Oso” Ramirez demonstrated his skills at playing the percussion section all while wearing a Dodgers hat.
The lively performance of La Santa Cecilia proved to be quite infectious as everyone in the room danced getting lost in their performance. Calaverita continuously proves to be the standout performance of every La Santa Cecilia concert. “Calacala Calavera la noche invita/ Los muertos bailan con mi canción.” The song sums up imagery of a festive time centered around Día de Los Muertos, at least to me. La Marisoul’s skirt matched perfectly to the tune of that song as she danced wildly on stage. Another performance I look forward to is Pa Que’ Trabajar. The song highlights the strong vocals that La Marisoul possesses, proving what an extraordinary singer she is. Though this song showcases her singing abilities, I Won’t Cry For You demonstrates the emotional prowess she puts into her performances. Though that performance became emotional, La Marisoul was energetic on stage along with the other members of the band. Though this song was quite sad, the most emotional performance that night was Here We Go Again. I have to admit, that performance did make me cry for bit. I’ve never cried before at a concert, but this one hit me hard. The turmoil I experienced throughout the last seven days became to much for me to handle as this emotional song started getting to me. It became therapeutic for me letting out my emotions to a beautiful, sad song. At least I was not the only one crying as the woman next to me kept wiping tears from her eyes. If a band is able to cause you to cry, i believe that screams volumes of how amazing they are.
Halfway into the concert the band members left the stage leaving the audience in suspense. The spot light shined on band member Roberto Carlos who walked on stage wearing a bright blue suit over a white shirt.
He excitedly announced that the band is in the process of writing new songs for a new album! The band had traveled to 12 different cities in Mexico in 6 days. They also collaborated with a few different musicians such as Mon Lafrete and Rebel Cats. During his announcement of the new album the audience was treated to a three minute clip of the process of creating their new album. The video showed imagery of the band recording in the various cities, working with different musicians, as well as them being interviewed about the album. Once the clip ended the band members rejoined the stage to continue the exciting night. All three male members came back on stage wearing the same bright blue suits that Roberto was wearing a few minutes ago. The favorite moment of the concert occurred during this second half of the band. After singing a few songs La Marisoul addressed the audience as she reflected on the bands career. 15 years ago when the band formed they had high hopes and even bigger dreams they hoped would come true. For them they were hoping to catch a break and be able to sing their songs to other people as they traveled throughout the world. At the beginning of their career it seemed futile, but they never gave up and continued on. This inspiration and moving speech moved me seeing as they were able to make their dreams come true; winning a Grammy, making six albums, and traveling all around the world. The reason I loved her speech was because one could see the genuine humbleness among the band. Yes, they’ve achieved their dreams however they are not taking it for granted. After that speech, the funniest moment of the concert occurred when La Marisoul took a flask and drank on stage. She did share with both Pepe and Alex as the audience cheered them on. Unfortunately the night came to an end after two hours; I so wish that they played for another hour. I became a bigger fan after this concert as they impressed me tremendously. I love this band so much, and will see them again whenever they play in southern California again.
- 1st concert at Valley Performing Center.
- 2nd time seeing La Santa Cecilia.
- 1st concert with no opening band.
- Jose “Pepe” Carlos reposted the photo I tagged him on his Instagram page.