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Mariochi Vargas de Tecalitian -- review

10/2009

One of the nice things about living in a city the size of Chicago are the larger events that might not appeal to a large fraction of the population.
This event was promoted as being a "sell out" type event (see below - quoted from an email sent to me by the promoters)

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlain is the world's leading authority in mariachi, with more than 50 recordings and appearances in more than 200 films. The greatest mariaiachi in the world returns to Symphony Center for the third year in a roow to perform an afternoon of spirited Mexican music­guaranteed to sell out!

If this event sold out, it is odd that there were so many empty seats. It is also strange that there were so many typographical errors in the advertisement (I edited out a few). But anyway, my daughter was interested in going because it could be used for a class extra-credit activity.

It was an awful experience - -the main reason was due to an interaction between the sound system of the group, and the sound system of orchestra hall. It was SOOO LOUD that I had to improvise an ear-plug. Every time the group would get excited and crank up the volume, the speakers would overload and hiss.

The group evidently had brought their own sound engineer and sound console (which looked a bit like something from a mad scientist's lab -- lots of tube amplifiers). Unfortunately, they apparently did not "test" out their sound system prior to the performance.

This group is not the Tijuanna brass either -- they are OK, sometimes evey pretty good, but it seems to me that they would be best heard at a street festival where you can stand far enough away to avoid hearing loss.

This is clearly not an event for non-spanish speakers (like me). There was no program -- songs were announced -- in Spanish -- from the floor. Perhaps the music was good (hard to tell when you are being blasted by something louder than an aircraft engine).

Overall - -I would say -- skip this one, or bring earplugs and a translator.

 

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