Last Saturday I attended what is being called the last Ruidosón event in Tijuana: Unión Ruidosón. What in the world is Ruidosón you might ask? Ruidosón is the most original and probably only musical movement from Tijuana in the post Nortec era.
It mixes music made electronically by computers and original Latin sounds to form a politically driven and socially aware sound that is not as serious as it sounds and dance floor oriented. The sound is raw and even apocalyptic due to the turbulent narco violence experienced in the city during its birth in 2008, its uncertainty and darkness are still very present in the sound.
It has made quite a bit of progress since its birth and has gotten coverage from various respected national and international media outlets. The show was headlined by Los Macuanos and had projects like Siete Catorce of Mexicali, El hijo de la Diabla and Santos on the bill as well. All of the performers have different sounding projects and each was as original as the next.
Unión Ruidosón was held in somewhat of a Tijuana Landmark, a wooden, western saloon looking bar called WEST FARGO on the Blvd Agua Caliente .
West Fargo is notorious in Tijuana for its variedades, which is a variety of entertainment consisting of cabaret style shows with magicians, stripers and singers. It’s kind of place you have never been inside of for a drink but your outcast alcoholic uncle has told you all about the great singers and stripers he saw there because he lived its heyday during the 1980’s.
The place is truly amazing if you love that dark, grimey, smokey and cowboy saloon style of dive bar mixed with cheap 80’s show venue. West Fargo is a far cry from the jaded bars on popular Sexta Ave in downtown Tijuana, that are getting less original and more monotone with each “new concept” bar that opens.
I walked into West Fargo 5 minutes before midnight, Santos was rocking the crowd and about 150 college aged hipsters and 20 way older, completely confused regulars. Santos used his techno driven dance floor friendly beats to get the party started right. He plays no hits of the day but only his original tracks while mc'ing the whole time creating a huge fiesta for the Tijuanenses.
After Santos there was a moment of dead air while Los Macuanos got their instruments and show ready, Moisés Horta, Rebuen Torres and Moisés Lopez embarked on one of the best live shows, if not the best live show this town has seen in 2012. I took over the fog machine controllers and filled the bar with a fog that was perfect for the lighting set up and laser they had rented for the gig.
The ambiance of the show was more important than people's comfort or ability to see each other. Besides, the place was filled with smoke anyway because apparently, the federal smoking ban inside bars and clubs does not apply in West Fargo and of course, no one complained about that.
Los Macuanos played a menacing and dark set that was filled with baselines that had the whole bar dancing, even the old chubby flirty waitresses West Fargo is known for. The highlights of the night Sangre, Bandera, Cruz and of course their most well known track Ritmo de Amor.
I feel confident in stating that Los Macuanos are the best and most original band from Tijuana and maybe all of Mexico.
Tijuana Mipsters (internet talk for Mexican Hipster) that surf the social networks know that the band is a controversial act and never are afraid to call out promoters, local musicians, past and present Tijuana musical icons straight up and tell you your band or scene sucks at any given time on the web. This certainly has created a division within the local music scene.
If you wanted to catch Los Macuanos this might have been your last chance to do so in Tijuana for a while, you might have to go to Guatemala, Mexico City or any of the many cities in central and south Mexico the band has been booked at for the rest of 2012.
There should have been more people at this show and they should be way more famous. They are also now confronted with the dilemma that all acts, artists, writers and musicians from Tijuana face at some defining point in their careers: stay in town and just be local, or leave to a city (like Mexico City or Los Angeles) with the proper industry infrastructure to “make it”.