A new concert series kicked off in Sacramento on June 2. Fiesta en la Calle, Spanish for Party on the Street, began their set of 9 summer concert series at Cesar Chavez Park. Some of today’s best sounds representative of America’s Latino Music Culture will be performing throughout the summer.
Corona helped put on the event and there was no mistaking they were involved as a giant Corona blown up bottle shared the stage. The Corona Beer Garden also took a prominent spot at Cesar Chavez Park.
Sacramento News and Review, Life Entertainment, Mi Gente Foundation, D’Chaleco, Mayahuel Tequila Museo and radio station Latino 97.9 served as sponsors of the event. Several vendors were on hand to provide delicious food and drinks.
DJ Ricardo “el niño” Rayas warmed up the audience before any of the bands took the stage. He spined tunes in both English and Spanish. DJ Ricardo Rayas played some Latin, dance and club mix tunes for the crowd that gathered at the park.
Vince Vicari served as the MC for Fiesta en la Calle. He came up to the stage to give thanks to sponsors and fans saying, “Thank you for choosing to spend your Thursday night with us at the Fiesta en la Calle Summer Concert Series here at Cesar Chavez Park. We’d like to start by giving a big shout out to Corona for helping us put this on. Come hang out with us each and every Thursday in June and July as we bring you live music and fun for the whole family. We’re going to get things kicked off right now. My name is Vince Vicari; I’ll be hosting this all summer long.”
“Let’s get down to our first act. These 5 gentlemen are from Sacramento and they’re into alternative, pop rock.” Vicari said and with that the newest Sacramento music venue kicked off.
Lost Freedom is an alternative band based out of Sacramento. Lost Freedom composes songs in both Spanish and English and either version is explosive in nature. With a punkish, screamo sound they’re able to sing in both languages with ease and their music comes out at you fast and loud giving much joy to their fans.
Lost Freedom got their name by comparing the many rules at their school. The rules, they believed, made it seem like they were losing their freedom to have fun and enjoy their time at school. They formed the band to express themselves and their love of music. Manuel Cervantes described their sound as punk with screamo to give them an energetic sound.
As they played their set they bounced around encouraging the audience to get closer to the band and join in the fun.
Juan Cervantes, lead vocal, took the mike and said, “Thanks for coming out to our show, it’s the biggest crowd we’ve had.” They then launched into a song they composed one day at 6 a.m. called “6 AM” making things simple. Although they compose their own songs, Manny on guitar started off playing Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” which was a hit with their fans.
At every chance they had Lost Freedom tried to get the audience involved either by encouraging them to get closer to the stage, dancing, clapping or just having fun. They finished their set with “The Same”.
Lost Freedom, in my opinion, was the perfect band to start off this live music venue. If you’re into alternative, punk with a bit of screamo or into fast energetic music check out Lost Freedom. They play next Saturday, June 11 at the Papagayo Restaurant on 5804 Marconi Avenue.
Vicari returned to the stage to thank the sponsors and say a few words, “I’d like to thank our sponsors; Corona, Latino 97.9, DJ “El Nino” Music, Sacramento News and Review, Estrella TV, D’Chaleco Magazine and of course Mayahuel Restaurant, that’s where the after party is at tonight on K and 12th.”
As DJ Ricardo Rayas “el niño” played in between sets it appeared that many more people started to show up. The dark clouds overhead looked a bit more threatening but no rain came down during the show.
The second band to take the stage was Ambar, a 5 member band from Fresno. They began their set with a Spanish rock song; “Tren al Sur”. They will celebrate their 4th year of being together this July.
Ambar played several cover songs including “Te Quiero Dar”. Cristina LeClere, lead vocals, then introduced an original piece called “Inedita”.
LeClere at one point addressed the audience saying, “You’re welcome to come up and dance. We’re here to celebrate, dance and feel alive with music. We’re happy to be here, we’re Ambar from Fresno California. “As they played “Me Fui” their musicianship was showcased as the guitars, bass and drums rhythmically moved from one song to the next.
LeClere, in order to get the crowd moving said the audience was making her sad because she did not see anybody dancing. She said, “I want to see everybody dancing tonight. We came all the way from Fresno. Do you know where Fresno is? We’re from the Central Valley, and we would love for you to come up and join us over here. We don’t bite, we don’t pinch, and we’re not going to pull your hair. Let’s dance, let’s feel the music and the rhythm.”
A guitar solo reminiscent of Santana began the next song called “Mala Hierba”. More people moved up and began to dance in front of the stage. Besides rock they threw in a ska song that started off with Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” intro and then moved to perform “Pobre de ti” with ska music and lyrics the rest of the way.
Latino 97.9 conducted a raffle and several members of the audience who filled out the raffle forms got some promotional products from the radio station. Vicari called out the names of those that won t-shirts and CDs.
Vicari also mentioned that the Central Library had opened their American Sabor exhibit and that the Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra was going to be performing at the library on Wednesday June 8 at 7 in the evening.
Monte Negro was the last band to take the stage. Their style of music is a mix between alternative, Latin and rock. The band from Los Angeles is another band that has an extensive list of Spanish and English songs as part of the repertoire.
Kinski Gallo, vocals, along with his brother Rodax, bass, Jason Li Shing, guitar and Xavier Lopez on drums make up Monte Negro. They have several recordings under their belt and have become a popular band.
When they came on stage more people had gathered at Cesar Chavez Park. As Monte Negro played “Pasajeros (Immigrant’s Lament)” it was obvious why this band has become so popular. This is a song that starts in English and seamlessly moves to Spanish and then back and forth.
“It’s a pleasure to be here tonight.” Kinski Gallo said as he welcomed the crowd and proceeded to dedicate their next song “Mundo (Planet on Edge)“ to Cesar Chavez soliciting approval from Monte Negro fans. He said, “In case you don’t know who Cesar Chavez was, he was a person who gave his life to change things. This world is a small place and we’re bringing a hole into it. I hope we can grow some consciousness into it so we can treat each other and our planet a little bit better.”
Monte Negro also played their rendition of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” incorporating some lyrics from the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” as well. This gave Jason a chance to show off some sweet guitar riffs and excellent playing skills.
Kinski is a great front man and his voice is hypnotizing as he puts his whole body into each and every song. They moved on and played what may be their most well known song “Give Me Love (No Llores)”.
“I love this country! This song goes to the USA!” Kinski shouted and they played “Me Duele No Estar Junto A Ti” another fast tempo song.
At the end of Monte Negro’s set Vicari came back on stage to announce more raffle winners and to say that the next Fiesta en la Calle, for June 9, will feature Salsa Music by Taino and the Cumbia sounds of Conjunto Nueva Ola.
This was a great show and undoubtedly will become more popular as word of mouth gets around. All three bands rocked in Spanish and English and all brought a delightful and powerful show to Sacramento’s audience.
Come out each Thursday in June and July to Cesar Chavez Park to enjoy artists from various genres. These sounds include Latin Alternative, Rock, Pop, Reggaeton, Reggae, Ska, Cumbia, Salsa, WorldBeat and a mix of these combined. Bring the whole family and enjoy some great music, food, drink, company and ambiance.