Caifanes @ The Honda Center, Anaheim CA 06/02/12

Wow…WOW WOW WOW!!! It’s not every day that some of your musical and cultural heroes reconcile and reunite after a 17 year break, and then perform and give you your monies worth and then some. Caifanes are the yin to Mana’s yang. Both groups are arguably Mexico’s most popular and influential rock acts. On one hand Mana is known as the colorful and energetic, mainstream rock group (think The Police). On the other hand, Caifanes are known for producing darker, mystic and more “alternative” sounding music (think The Cure). A Mana concert is a party. A Caifanes concert is a religious experience.

The value given to us was unbelievable. They played for a very generous 2.5 hours – 26 songs, with a lot of gracious and appreciative banter from group leader Saul Hernandez. There were close to 20,000 people at the Honda Center in Anaheim. We were fairly close to the stage, and it was jaw dropping, looking around and seeing all those people captivated, standing and overpowering the singer’s voice, singing along to practically every song. It was like there was electricity in the air, complete with goosebumps and hair raising moments. Some guys head banged. Some played air guitar (drunken air guitar). Women grooved and some couples broke out into sambas. Somehow a mosh pit erupted toward the front of the stage. Where did all those folding chairs go!? Now matter how the crowd expressed itself, everyone was deeply affected in some profound way and showed it. About the vocals, Hernandez’ voice has long been plagued by some kind of vocal cord condition – causing his singing to be raspier, thinner, and very unpredictable, which has become an unfortunate hallmark of his other group, Jaguares. However much of his power and vocal ability has been miraculously restored for these Caifanes concerts. He’s  singing as if his life depends on it. The voice is a signature part of this group. Its sweetly abrasive, other worldly, with power and frailty at the same time.

The performance was very good for the most part. But I’m convinced guitarist Alejandro Marcovich was a little drunk. He would play a beat behind or ahead at times, but most people probably didn’t notice. And as the night wore on, his volume level gradually increased. Sabo Romo barely moved a muscle. He stayed in his little 2×2 box and made playing bass look so easy. Sax/keyboard player Diego Herrera was having a great time, traveling from one end of the stage to the other and did a lot of sax solos, including tasteful ones on Viento and Sombras En Tiempos Perdidos. Alfonso Andre is still a great drummer, and looks like he hasn’t aged a bit. And he plays Yamaha just like me 🙂 The band played everything a fan would want to hear plus a few cult favorites. Absolute favorite moment for me was seeing “Sombras En Tiempos Perdidos” performed. Frickin’ gorgeous. If I had any complains, it would be the absence of songs like “La Vida No Es Eterna” and “Vamos Hacer Un Silencio.”

I got into this group late in the game. I was attending college when I first heard their music around 2000, 5 years after they had broken up. I loved the new wave sound of their early material, the blues and jazz of their later stuff and the darkly poetic lyrics. It was in college where I experienced a cultural awakening and “found my roots.” Isolating yourself in Orange County will do that to you. Discovering this group’s music was part of that cultural awakening.

Setlist

Viento
Para Que No Digas Que No Pienso En Ti
Miedo
Aquí No Es Así
Te Estoy Mirando
Nubes
Miércoles de Ceniza
Cuéntame Tu Vida
Antes De Que Nos Olviden
Ayer Me Dijo Un Ave (electric with Diego and Alfonso on bongos & djembe)
Hasta Morir
Estas Dormida
Avientame
Sombras En Tiempos Perdidos
Perdí Mi Ojo de Venado
El Comunicador
Los Dioses Ocultos
Sera Por Eso
Detrás de Ti
De Noche Todos Los Gatos Son Pardos
Mátenme Porque Me Muero
Nos Vamos Juntos

Encores

La Célula Que Explota
No dejes que
Afuera
La Negra Tomasa

Image

Saul Hernandez and Diego Herrera, Anaheim 06/02/12

A view from the video screen, Anaheim 06/02/12

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Posted on September 20, 2012, in Caifanes, Concerts: 2012 - Present and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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