Photos by De’Niro Pankey.
The recipe for a perfect Latinx party is food, alcohol and music, so when Tropicalia Fest arrived in Long Beach on Saturday it felt like one big backyard family party. Everyone was there to have a good time.
The festival promised tacos, music and beer and attendees received that and more. This was more than a typical festival where fashion meets up-and-coming musical acts. People from all walks of life were excited to experience this type of gathering for the first time. There were the young and the young at heart couples dancing to the older songs. Attendees either heard this music when it first came out or remember listening to it growing up with their parents and grandparents.
There was a sensation of a time warp after being shuttled in on yellow school buses and then walking onto the festival grounds to see a 90s revival where the “chola” look was present among the women, including Nike Cortez shoes, crop tops, big hoop earrings and lip liner.
The men weren’t far behind with flannel shirts and bandanas across their foreheads. The more casual concert goers rocked denim jackets, classic Vans skate shoes, and even a colorful beret. There were some Selena tribute shirts sighted, as well as sombreros that were purchased from the merchandise booth.
The Día De Los Puercos stage attracted a large crowd for some oldies but goodies. The afternoon began with Ginuwine singing fan favorites like In Those Jeans and closing his brief set with Pony, during which he jumped off stage and into the crowd that immediately swarmed him.
Brenton Wood (known for his love song Me and You) with his pachuco pants and signature gold chains from his belt loops led the mixed crowd in a sing-along.
Blanca (second from right) and her four children came from Oceanside to see Brenton Wood, Deflonics, Sonora Dinamita and Tigres Del Norte.
The Delfonics continued to deliver the jams into the night with dazzling jackets and charming choreography starting their set with Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love). The crowd was ready, singing along and swaying to the music.
The Tropicalia Main Stage delivered dance tunes with legendary Colombian cumbia group Sonora Dinamita in the early afternoon. The crowd happily followed the band’s instructions in “A Mover La Colita,” shaking their booty to the song as well as “Se Me Perdió La Cadenita” and finishing strong with the popular party classic “Mi Cucú (my derrière)”.
At sunset the patient crowd finally received their reward, a last minute addition to the lineup that made this festival a must for any fan of Latin Alternative/Rock, Cafe Tacvba (pronounced Tacuba).
Ana, originally from Puebla, Mexico, was wearing matching bedazzled sneakers with her 2-year-old daughter who danced briefly. Her family came to see Sonora Dinamita (who she grew up listening to), and Cafe Tacvba.
The lead singer and bassist came out like true rockstars with luchador masks and outfits that only they could pull off. The crowd bounced and sang along to the hit “Como Te Extraño Mi Amor.”
The show’s headliner was norteño band Los Tigres Del Norte, still going strong after nearly 50 years; their music is considered a family heirloom that has been passed down several generations, with no end in sight. Their timeless music connects fans to a heritage still strong as they influence the next generation that continues to embrace old world and new.
Photos by De’Niro Pankey.
Photos by Jose Romero III.