Simply put, I cannot remember a time in my life when music has not been a priority. From piano study to singing in choirs to enjoying the beautiful concerts at Jacobs School of Music at IU, it’s always in the back of my mind.
Now take into account my already existing love of Latin American music, and imagine my elation when I saw a sign on the bus one day for a concert for Los Fabulosos Cadillacs in el Estadio Nacional, for that coming Saturday. As context, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs are an Argentinian rock/ska/a little bit of everything band that formed in the 80s. I knew that their enormous popularity would make the concert an incredible show, and I excitedly bought tickets with some other American, German, and Peruvian friends (one of whom had lived in Argentina).
The night was cold, but we had chorepans to keep us warm. Hours of waiting in line coupled with six opening bands provided a marathon build-up for the main act. Finally, around 11pm and over six hours after joining the line that afternoon, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs took the stage for easily the best concert I’ve ever attended in my life. Nothing quite can describe the feeling of standing with thousands and thousands of other Peruvians, all of us shouting the lyrics at the top of our lungs and dancing. I was thrilled when they played Mal Bicho, one of their first songs I had heard. The lyrics are meaningful and its energy—inescapable.
“Yo no voy
A la guerra
A la violencia
A la injusticia
Ni a su codicia…
….Paz en el mundo!”
“I’m not with
or your greed…
I say no!
…Peace in the world!”
However exciting it is to enjoy familiar bands, finding new music has continued to be as fun. From the small, cozy bar where we discovered indie-band Kanaku y el Tigre (highly recommended! Check them out on iTunes!) to the free outdoor concert in the park of Magdalena with los Hermanos Yaipen (a dancing salsa/cumbia/everything band), I’m continuing to learn about Peru through the experiences of music I live. I notice how the style of music on the buses changes the farther I get out of the city, reflecting the strong Andean influence in the country. I noticed at the Hermanos Yapien concert that while the pre-act certainly featured scantily clad women dancing around (which I was originally judging), the band itself (full of men) was also just as sexualized in their dancing. It provides an interesting contrast with the heated discussion about the (in my eyes, double standard) portrayal of women (not men) in American pop songs and the purpose/role/implications of such sexualization.
Getting to know the music scene in Lima is a way that I can not only make it my home now, but continue to carry it with me when I return. The new songs on my iPod create as much a memory book as the pictures on my camera!