Los Cafres
Jackie Mendez
Date: June 12, 2017
Location:
 House of Blues, Anaheim

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Story
I collected free tickets for the concert through the app Thrillcall (thank you)! I became ecstatic at the opportunity to view a band from Argentina live in person. I had hope to win tickets through one of the contests that I entered and as luck would have it I did win. Arriving earlier than I anticipated, I managed to view the complete performance of the first act of the night. Jackie Mendez, a local reggae hailing from El Monte, happened to be opening that night. I’ve had the great fortune of viewing Mendez previously multiple times at exciting reggae themed concerts. Every single time I’ve seen her she would put on an incredible concert she did just that. Right from the start she dazzled the audience with her bubbly personality and her bright presence on stage – her yellow dress and hair made her shine even brighter. She started the night with a cover of The Upsetters’ Tight Spot Riddim’ and from there the party continued on for the next half hour. Mendez danced on stage as she sang every song with strong passion from within. It’s always a blast seeing Mendez perform on stage and I love seeing her rock out whenever I have the chance to do so. In between songs she would address the audience in Spanish as she told the audience a little history behind each song. Receiving this insight from the singer made her performance that night a bit more personal for the audience. The standout track of the night had to be He Used To Be My Baby, one of the best tracks I’ve heard from her live. The raw emotions she displays on stage is what makes me excited to see her on stage. For this particular night Mendez had a backup band which always perform well with her. I’ve become use to seeing her guest spot in a few Gamblers Mark concert, so seeing her perform on her own is always exciting for me. The band on stage with her were quite enjoyable as they all possessed the same passion as Mendez. They were able to keep up with her fiery energy which is not an easy feat of itself.

The moment arrived as all nine members of Los Cafres entered the stage. The band is currently on their Alas Canciones tour promoting their latest album of the same name. The band has been touring Latin America and have recently embarked on their United States tour to promote the album. The band formed in 1987 back in their home country of Argentina, this year the band celebrating their 30th anniversary. The eight members of the band that perform with instruments were all on stage as they dove into Se Q` El Mar. Suddenly the voice of the singer, Guillermo Bonetto, could be heard but not seen. After a few seconds Bonetto stormed into the stage which received a triumphant applause. This is one of the largest bands that I’ve seen to date; tied with No Te Va Gustar who both have 9 members a piece. The mellow sounds of the band combined with the fiery energy of the lead singer equaled one phenomenal performance. All nine members were in sync as they jammed on stage as they enjoyed themselves. Their feel good, laid back sound turned out to be quite infectious as everyone in the audience started dancing to their beats. Bonetto throughout the night impressed me tremendously as this proficient singer delivered an unforgettable performance. The charismatic performer is quite lively on stage as he submerges himself to the music, providing a sensational time to all. He’s an excellent singer whose showmanship in delivering a power house performance made him stand out to me. The other members did a great job playing on their instruments whether it was the drums, guitar, keyboard, or brass. I enjoyed the laid back vibes the band were giving off as all members wore T-shirts and jeans. Prior to this night I never heard of this band’s music but I loved what I heard. I’m not the biggest Reggae fan, but Los Cafres mellow, Spanish sounds won me over; honestly everything sounds better in Spanish. Spanish reggae is a specific genre that I never heard or became known about prior to hearing of this band. After this night I’ll be sure to check out more of this band and seek similar artists like them. The standout performance for me would have to be Alas Canciones, the mellowest track the band performed that night. The relaxed, soothing atmosphere the band created helped get everyone in the audience to mellow out and have fun. This is a remarkable band that one needs to see especially if you love reggae music. Trust me this band will not disappoint in the slightest.

Los Cafres Setlist
1. Sé Q’ El Mar
2. Listo
3. El Silencio
4. Es La Música
5. Imposible
6. Perdón
7. Alas Canciones
8. Momento
9. Dale!
10. Hace Falta/ De Mi Mente
11. Aire/ Tu Ojos
12. Si El Amor Se Cae
13. Casi Q’ Me Pierdo

Jackie Mendez Setlist
1. Tight Spot Riddim’ (The Upsetters cover)
2. Sitting Round The Bend
3. Hard to Handle
4. Thought You Should Know
5. He Used To Be My Baby
6. Forever True
7. Quizaz
8. I Can’t Stay
9. Endless Memory
10. Rocksteady

Trivial Notes

  • 7th concert at the House of Blues, Anaheim at The Garden Walk.
  • 1st time seeing Los Cafres.
  • 4th time seeing Jackie Mendez.
  • 1st band from Argentina that I’ve seen.
  • Chemo liked the photo I posted of her on Instagram.
  • I won another contest to view the band at the Fonda Theater the next day. However the catch was that I had to pick up the tickets from the facility that hosted the contest. The place is in Santa Monica and well working from Pasadena I could not make it on time to pick up the tickets. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it and lost the tickets.
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