Café Tacvba are Latin-alternative music gods who can easily sell out arenas and festivals, but this time around, they want to give the fans something new: On Tuesday night, the band played before an intimate crowd of 1,500 Tacvbos at Tijuana's Auditorio Municipal with an experimental format inspired by the release of their first studio album in five years, El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco.
"The show is completely different, and what excites us most is that we'll be with our fans, presenting to them new songs and something quite special in terms of scenery and everything,” guitarist Joselo Rangel told CNNMexico.
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Walking into the standing-room only area in Tijuana, you wondered where to go because the circular stage was in the middle of the room, bisected laterally on both sides by two walking planks. One could only surmise it would serve as a walkway for vocalist Rubén Isaac Albarrán to work the crowd. The essence of a tribal community was apparent once you put the pieces together, with the audience standing, gathered around the stage with the instruments also laid out in a circular fashion waiting for their masters to bring them to life -- circles within circles, as seen on the album's cover artwork. There was no opening band; Café Tacvba are the show. They lifted the crowd up with “Pájaros,” the first song off El Objeto.
Midway through the show, a giant tree came to life in the middle of the stage with a blast of air, and a spectacular Northern Lights-like show painted the ceiling and walls of the auditorium. Later, an anatomically correct balloon of a heart drifted above the stage from one side to the other, complementing the beats hitting the audience.
The symbolism of the light show, backed by prime song selections from El Objeto (and some B-sides from previous albums) and the stage props all led to one thing: We were experiencing a Tacvba-style pow-wow, with Albarrán as our chief. He was the charismatic orator with a sometimes comedic way of talking to segue between songs, keeping the audience connected with the band's heart energy. The music of Café Tacvba has always been relevant and distinct, using dashes of Mexican folk music with a potent dose of rock and electronica. With El Objeto, however, there are universal themes that are deeper and more lyrically gripping than before, giving the songs an edge over those that came before. And with the El Objeto Tour, their loyal fans will literally get to see a new side of Cafe's greatness that is so humbling they'll be doing the "I'm not worthy" chant of Wayne & Garth.
Stay tuned for Dita Quiñones' interview with Cafe Tacvba July 13 on “SoundDiego” after SNL -- Ed.
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino and Hip-Hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, Fox News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.