This past Friday, July 11th, I attended a free Mariachi Los Camperos concert, put on by Grand Performances. I had never heard of this series of free concerts in Downtown Los Angeles until two weeks ago, when I found out about the free concert, but I am sure glad I did find out. I was able to convince the parents to come to the concert as well, so we all attended (with the younger brother, naturally). More after the jump, with a large number of photographs.
The concert was held at the Watercourt Stage at California Plaza, a truly beautiful outdoor venue above Olive Avenue and between the California Plaza towers, two of my favorite towers in Downtown L.A. (they’re sleek!) and we arrived around 6:45, enough time for me to walk around California Plaza and take pictures of Downtown from my perch above Olive St.
Above are some pictures of buildings that I took from my perch. I’m not an architecture critic, but I really enjoy looking at these towers, especially the first two. I’ve always preferred steel, glass, and straight lines, which might explain why I had a great time reading The Fountainhead two years ago. There’s something about steel and glass that exemplifies progress to me.
For the first time ever, I saw Angels Flight! Hopefully the next time I see it it’s operational. Looks fun, plus with all the history involved.
Now don’t come to me and say L.A. is not a city. It is a very vibrant city and region, maybe too vibrant, but have to know where to look. See where the locals congregate.
As the start of the concert neared, more and more people were appearing to fill the seats and all the other open areas available at the Watercourt Stage. It was indeed a beautiful sight.
A bit after 8 p.m., the concert started with a performance by Son de Madera, a son jarocho group from Veracruz. They were alright, not a great opening act and their performance was forgettable. Their song choices were not upbeat enough for the night and felt like they were dragging the songs out. Too many of their songs were in minor (and somber) keys. At intermission, a member of Ozomatli came to the stage and spoke a bit about donating to Grand Performances (I was too busy to hear it because I was buying something to eat and ran into a number of South Gate mariachis with whom I have performed in the past).
Finally, at a few minutes past nine, Mariachi Los Camperos finally took the stage and proceeded to blow me away (just like every other time I’ve seen them). Here are the songs they performed:
- Los camperos/El son de la negra
- Hay unos ojos (sung by Ismael Hernández)
- Los pollitos
- España cañí
- Popurri José Alfredo Jiménez (Camino de Guanajuato/En el ultimo trago/Tu recuerdo y yo/Tú y las nubes/Serenata huasteca)
- Popurri de canciones infantiles (Amongst them, “La vibora de la mar” and “El jarabe tapatío”)
- Popurri Vicente Fernández (La ley del monte/Los mandados/Volver, volver) [“Los mandados” is always a hoot to sing.]
- Somos novios (Instrumental)
- Por tu maldito amor
- México lindo y querido/¡Viva México!
- Pilón: Some song with Son de Madera (it might have been Siquisirí, I don’t remember.)
It was great concert and like always, Mariachi Los Camperos didn’t disappoint. That night, I couldn’t sleep because my head was remembering all that I experienced at the concert. It was a feeling that I know so deeply yet every time I feel it, it feels new.