Dec 16, 2007
Between the art deco splendor of the Gusman Center and the flock of Mexican hipsters making their way through the nipply cold wind tunnels downtown last night - it felt like we were in Chilangolandia instead of Miami. Except, of course, the experience we were about to have inside the 1,567-seat theater wouldn't be possible in La Gran Tenochtitlán AKA Mexico City, a teeming metropolis with 20 million inhabitants. Here we were, gathered in an incredibly intimate setting to see Mexico City's most representative rock band ever: the scruffy yet melodic Café Tacuba. These rowdy 30-somethings typically play much bigger venues down South (think, zócalo). After all, their songs are the anthems of many a young Chilango's life.
When the band came out on stage - 45 minutes late - the crowd stood up and applauded. Then they chanted: Arriba Café Tacuba! Viva México, Cabrones! The band opened with an eerily beautiful ballad, interrupted by intermittent Whooos! from the spectators. At the end of the first song, they got another standing ovation and more shouts of Viva México! It was a flattering welcome, but all a bit tame for lead singer Rubén Albarrán (aka Pinche Juan). The diminutive ball of energy instructed the crowd to make a mess of things, Caray, and not to sit down again! Que echan un desmadre!
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Well, then, give us some of those uptempo, post-punk and ska-inspired riffs that we adore!
Café Tacuba next pulled out the very dance-able track "Eo El Sonidero," and the small space between the stage and theater seats filled with bouncing fans. A few concert goers made some daring incursions on stage, and Pinche Juan couldn't have looked more pleased (especially when flanked by the female variety). And he flashed a devilish grin each time a fan wiggled his way out of a bouncer's grip. The fans skanked, pumped their fists, and even whipped out some banda dance moves. Seriously, it's difficult to imagine a singer having more fun on stage than Pinche Juan.
On occasion, the group whipped out some corny synchronized dance moves - think macarena - from their various music videos, and the crown loved them for it. The whole gig wrapped up with the peppy love song 'Como Te Extraño.' Yes, fellas, we'll miss you. And we can't wait to see you again! Pinche Juan bid all farewell, saying: "That was your favorite group - El Café Tacuba!"
-- Amy Guthrie