Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Calle 13 Concert

There are so many reasons why I love my life right now.  The sun is shining, there’s a warm breeze blowing, I have 3 half days of school left before Christmas break begins, I live on a beautiful island, I have fantastic friends and a wonderful family, a great job, and there are—as always—travel plans in my future. 
And I got to go to an amazing concert last night.

I sort of decided to go to the Calle 13 concert on a whim, because Jenni, Kelsey, and Kezia were going, and I didn’t want to be stuck at home alone on a Saturday night. 
Excellent choice on my part. 

I didn’t know much about Calle 13 until the past week or so.  I’d heard a few of their songs and liked them, but that was it.  Once I’d purchased my ticket, I started listening to more of their music—and found I liked it.  I also found out that in 2009, the group was banned from performing in Puerto Rico by the then-mayor.  With San Juan under new leadership, they were allowed back for the first time last night.  25,000 people showed up to cheer them on. 

The crowd, as seen from above.
Photo from El Nuevo Dia

It. was. AWESOME. 
In the past, I haven’t been a huge fan of live concerts.  I find myself getting bored, or tired, or overly crowded (and with 25,000 people you’d think that would be a concert).  But that wasn’t the case last night.  I was completely entertained for the entire 2 ½ hours the group performed.  The music was great, the show was fantastic, and surprisingly, it wasn’t overly crowded.  Sure, there were tons of people, but we had room to dance and move along.  And we did dance.  It was a beautiful night, and while my shoes are now covered in mud and I drove home exhausted, the rest of me is no worse for the wear. 

Calle 13’s message was completely empowering too.  Before singing one song, the leader proclaimed, “En Puerto Rico se está viviendo demasiado violencia. Hay odio. Hay que dedicarle prioridad a la educación. Por eso es que pedimos una universidad accesible y gratuita. Si hubiese mejor educación, hubiese menos violencia. Se lo dedico a todas la familias que han perdido a sus familiares por criminales despiadados, a los estudiantes que han muerto por la causa, a lo que acaba de ocurrir en Conneticut, a Carlos Muñiz Varela... Se lo dedico a mi tío, asesinado. No hace falta delfinario, ni estupideces. Faltan profesores preparados, más escuelas.”
(My translation: Puerto Rico is experiencing too much violence.   There is hate.  We need to give priority to education.  Therefore we ask for accessible and free universities.  If there were better education, there would be less violence.  I dedicate this to all of the families who have lost family members to ruthless criminals, to the students who have died for the cause, to what just happened in Connecticut, to Carlos Muñiz Varela…I dedicate it to my uncle, murdered.  …We’re missing qualified teachers and more schools.”) 

You just can’t argue with that.
So…good music, a good message, good friends, and not to mention a singer with a body it did NOT hurt to look at for 2 hours…you’ve got a recipe for a fantastic, unforgettable night.  


My phone died as the concert started, and I didn't
have my camera...so I stole this photo from
Calle 13's facebook page.  

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