There's nothing sweeter than seeing a diverse, music-loving audience getting down to a Latin alternative band like San Antonio's Pinata Protest, who played at Soda Bar on Monday night.
It's so redeeming to see Americans appreciating Conjunto and Tejano musica to punk-rock riffs without hesitation because it feels right. The music Pinata Protest makes is explosive and contagiously healthy. The band sings about sacrificio (tattooed on frontman's Alvaro Del Norte's right arm) and growing up as U.S. Latinos.
The spirit of Pinata Protest is summed up like this: They are a delicious burrito mashup of Ramon Ayala, Selena, the Sex Pistols, Bad Religion, Fugazi and the Chicano activist spirit of Edward James Olmos.
Besides that, the four-man band is made up of working-class spirited musicians. Marcus Cazares, bassist and twin brother to guitarist Matt, said, "We are on the hustle. We all have day jobs and families, but it's all about the music and making your mark in history."
It wasn't hard to notice the two Lucha Libre-masked audience members moshing out during the show. They turned out to be a graffiti couple all the way from Yucatan, Mexico, who came all the way to see the show since San Diego would be their only chance to see the band.
"I love that they stand for sacrifice and immigration rights -- they're music is so good," said Dhunck, the 22-year-old graffiti artist.
Another fan, Angelica Pozos, became an instant Pinata Protest fan when they opened up for Girl in a Coma in El Paso. Pozas actually delayed her flight plans to Texas for a chance to party one more time with her two homegirls.
"This is my third time seeing them," Pozas said. "I love that they have this garage-band sound, but with a Tejano sound -- I can totally relate to them as a Latina."
Half of Soda Bar's audience were Pinata Protest virgins, and it was clear by the moshing and quebraditas going on -- not to mention the sight of one woman taking off her bra and throwing it onstage -- that the band made new fans at Soda Bar. Even a bleached mohawk dude took a girl by the hand to dance a quebradita for the last song of the night. It definitely didn't feel like a Monday night. As frontman Del Norte put it: "It's Friday night! F--- it!"
Del Norte is a ridiculously skilled accordion player who's studied under Juan Tejeda, a respected folklorist and founder of San Antonio’s Tejano Conjunto Festival. But when asked who would win in an accordion battle between him and Julieta Venegas? Guess what he and the band answered?
You'll have to stay tuned for GN$F!'s exclusive interview with Pinata Protest on NBC 7's SoundDiego. For more touring info on Piñata Protest visit here.
Dita Quinones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino, Filipino and hip-hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, Fox News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, San Diego CityBeat and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter or on Facebook.