My night started out with dinner with my sister, my niece, Kristian, and his friend. We had to wait a bit for a table but it made our Ponce's meal that much better. After dinner it might have been quite easy to slip into food coma, but I thought I needed a good deviation from my norm and what better than Beto's show where I knew I'd be surrounded by a bunch of strangers outside of my normal scene and routine?
I arrived, and as it seemed the stars aligned, found my friend who walked me into the show and hooked up a photo pass. The show started and I raced to get into the photo pit for the first three songs and was surprised to see just how many photographers were shooting the show. Giant cameras and all, I dodged my way around the all male photogs trying to get some shots.
To me, there was something amazing about being at a show that I was enjoying but maybe not really "feeling", and meeting someone who explained how much he loved the old band, this musician, his voice, and even explaining some of the lyrics that perhaps I'd thought I understood. Everything took on a whole new meaning as this perfect stranger took the time to translate and explain the words that were beyond my Spanish vocabulary.
We grabbed a couple drinks at the bar as we chatted endlessly about the music, the show, his travels, my writing, the way the lyrics refer to politics, family, and all the things that inherently matter, particularly from the perspective of his people, mi gente, even if I wasn't raised puro, all while enjoying the show and the energy around us. And it was an amazing thing. There were things he'd say in English for my benefit, and then things that just don't translate that had to be spoken in Spanish, and while I'm always proud of my heritage and ethnicity, this particular circumstance reminded me that while I might not have grown up with frijoles on the stove, this is a part of who I am and made me want to explore that part of me just a little bit deeper. Oh yeah, and turns out my ambassador lives less than two blocks away from me. Is that what Jewish people call kismet?
Beto Cuevas Setlist, 4th & B, 3.2.08
After the show we chatted for a few, then I was off to the Tower Bar where I caught The Muslims set. I'll have to take a look at those pics and see if they're even worth posting, but the set was as good as ever and the drummer now has a standing drum set, meaning everything is set high and he stands while he plays which is a cool touch to their sound and feel.
Needless to say, I should've been asleep hours ago but it was an amazing night and I've got lots of plans for Thursday, Friday and the rest of the weekend, so I had to get this all published before I let time pass and the memory fade. Gracias por todo, mi carino amigo nuevo...
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