Las Cafeteras
Mariachi Flor de Toloache
Date: May 28, 2017
Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University


This concert marked the 6th time that I’ve seen Las Cafeteras, but the first time that I got a ticket stub with their name on it…sort of. The ticket stub listed everything, expect the bands name! Luckily at the end of the concert drummer Jose Cano signed the ticket stub writing “Las Cafeteras”. Well a member of the actual band signed the ticket so I consider it legitimate for my collection. Let me back up as I’m getting ahead of myself. Surprisingly my partner had no reservations of going to the concert and became excited in seeing the band for the first time. One of my friends, whose a major Las Cafeteras fan, joined us in the festivities as well. 2017 marked the second year Chapman held The Heartbeat of Mexico event on their campus. This would be my first time attending the event or even hearing of it. My partner and I arrived early to do a photo shoot as well as view the Ballet Folklórico dancers. I couldn’t believe that my partner had never seen Ballet Folklórico dancing in person before this day. As the talented dancers finished, my friend arrived on time and we headed to our seats. This beautiful venue reminded me of the one where I previously saw La Santa Cecilia three months prior. I did not take as many photos as I did not want to disturb others around me, but think I still took decent photos of the musical groups.

The MC of the event turned out to be none other than OC’s Ruben Martinez. Not a native of the county I am not familiar with his work, but my partner is. He’s read multiple books from the author for his classes and just loves his work. Mariachi Flor de Toloache took the stage shortly setting the expectations of the night high. The ladies came all the way from New York and they did a stunning job leaving everyone in the audience with memorable memories. The four mujers were beyond talented as they were beautiful. All four wore matching black outfits, each adorned with large, red roses placed on the left side of their hair. The ladies played original songs, most from their latest album. I have to say all of their music sounded marvelous; this coming from someone that’s not a large mariachi fan. My favorite of theirs ended up being a mariachi cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are. I never expected them to play a rock song, I mean who would? I ended up enjoying the song as they put their won Latin spin to it. Throughout their performance each one of the ladies shined as they did their own instrumental solo performances. Each one of them displayed what talent they had whether it be playing the violin, trumpet, or guitar. The audience gave them a large standing ovation at the end. We were all impressed with their talents, especially my partner who loved every second of it. We both cannot wait for the chance to see these talented artists again in the future.

After a brief intermission Las Cafeteras made their grand entrance. Noticeably two of members of the band were missing that night; Leah Gallegos and David Flores. The two recently married couple are expecting their first baby soon which was the reason for their absence. Congratulations to the two lovers and with their bundle of joy. Though those two were missing in action the rest of the band did a marvelous job entertaining the audience. All four members encompassed high energy and strong fierceness that they’re known for. Every time I see the band I swear their level of passion and energy only increases vigorously. Front and center is the band’s sole female member Denise Carlos. The fiery hot pink haired singer dazzled the room with her impeccable dance moves as her black rose themed skirt flowed with the beat. Her stunning vocals left the audience wanting more as the night went on. As part of the entertainment, two dancing couples emerged from both sides of the stage. Switching from white tradition Mexican outfits to ranchero inspired clothing they astonished the crowd with their skills. Their added presence created a lively atmosphere as well as amplified the Mexican theme of the whole event. One of these talented men gave an incredible solo zapateado dance performance that blew the audience away. As he always does in the past, Hector Flores stole the show with his killer zapateado dance moves. Wearing a black pachuco hat with suspenders he’s mad zapateado skills had the audience screaming for more. He’s an expert at not only dancing but also at getting the people energized. I truly love this hombre’s passion that he has for his craft, he is truly genuine which shows in his dedication in making every performance remarkable. Daniel French’s rapping skills were admirable as he did it flawlessly whenever he took the spotlight. Just like the rest of the male members of the band he wore a hat, but his had the word “TACO” written on it. He jammed on the jaranas impressively as did Hector; I tried playing that instrument and it is not easy. Jose Cano did a superb job keeping the beat alive throughout the night. He never missed a beat and jammed to the music like everyone in the room. The band played hits from their latest album Tastes Like L.A. such as “If I Were President”, “Paletero”, and “This Land Is Your Land”. After a brief break the band came on stage for one last performance which consisted of their signature song of  “La Bamba Rebelde. The whole crowd stood up and danced to the extended version of the song which featured two members of Mariachi Flor de Toloache. The dancing couples came back out with each member doing zapateado dances, leaving the audience wanting more. This last performance proved to be the most powerful and enjoyable of the night. If the band had played “Luna Lovers then to me this would have been a perfect concert. Regardless, this performance of theirs stands out as my favorite Las Cafeteras performance to date.

Trivial Notes

  • 6th time seeing Las Cafeteras and 1st time seeing Mariachi Flor de Toloache.
  • 1st time at Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University.
  • Denise Carlos liked the photo I tagged her in on Instagram and commented “Gracias!” on the photo. She also accepted my friend request.
  • Jose Can liked the photo I tagged him in on Instagram.
  • Las Cafeteras’ official Instagram page liked all four photos I tagged them in.
  • Daniel French liked the photo I tagged him in on Instagram.
  • Mariachi Flor de Toloache’s official Instagram page liked all four photos I tagged them in.
  • Mariachi Flor de Toloache’s official Twitter page liked the four posts I mentioned them in.
  • Las Cafeteras’ official Twitter page liked the four posts I mentioned them in.
  • Hector Flores liked the photo I tagged him on Instagram.