It's easy to close your eyes and picture San Antonio as a visual; the skyline is recognizable with buildings like the Tower of Americas, Spurs appreciation around every corner, the giant boots in front of North Star Mall, but what does San Antonio sound like? San Antonio is a melting pot of many different genres and sounds. Sounds that were bread deep in the hearts of backyards, ice houses, dancehalls and neighborhood bars as the cultural rhythms of conjunto and cumbia blend with the unmistakable beat of rock n roll and the modern day genres it branches off into.
On Friday, San Antonio legends Bombasta “Big Barrio Band” and Los de Esta Noche, two bands who play the sound of San Antonio will take the stage at the Empire Theatre with Corpus Christi natives, El Dusty who play a blend of EDM cumbia for what will probably be the biggest dance party the venue has seen (equipped with laser light show and a low rider car show).
Los de Esta Noche is a band one could never get tired of seeing, and after they released their album, a band that one could never get tired of listening to. It’s hard enough getting a crowd dancing but to produce a beat which incorporates so much rhythm one does not know whether to jump around or to shuffle up a cumbia is an extraordinary attribute in creating music.
What started off as a four piece for the first few years has since grown and evolved to a band that has incorporated bongo drums, horns and a keyboardist that they’ve maintained for the past year or so.
“A few years back I was part of a organization called MASO ‘Mexican American Student Organization’ at UTSA and we were doing a fundraiser and we came up with the idea of having music and making it like this bailes deal,” explained vocalist Julio Lopez on the origins of the band to Sobre Sound.
Lopez goes onto explain that cultural aspects are the roots for many members of the band and how they approach music, anything from being involved with the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, to being involved in band and just the arts in general that served as ingredients to create such an authentic flavor of music.
“Growing up it was a lot of cumbia you hear that you hear in northern México and here some of the norteno. I started off in mariachi, I did that for a good 15 years and that played a major, major part in how I looked at music and how I wrote songs,” explained Lopez. In fact, this isn’t his first rodeo at the Empire, he’s stood on the stage when he was a part of Mariachi Campanas de America for an anniversary show.
As far as influences go, Lopez says that recently, it’s bands from San Antonio anything from Fea, Grupo Frackaso and Los Nahuatlatos.
“I think just really in general the kind of energy that is happening within the community in San Antonio really lights a fire under our ass, they keep pushing it,” said Lopez including that he sees the music scene heading in an exciting direction and feels a real sense of community.
This Friday, that sense of community will welcome and encompass El Dusty and reverberate through the 100 year old walls of the Empire Theater. “We are excited, the huge beautiful space, the sound is great, and production is awesome but it’s very different from the more intimate shows we tend to play that tend to be really tight where everyone is all sweaty and going crazy. We’re excited, we’re nervous but we enjoy it. We appreciate every opportunity from the biggest stage to the smallest stage.”
Don’t miss Los de Esta Noche, Bombasta or El Dusty this Friday at the Empire Theatre. Tickets are $10 and doors open at 8 p.m. and yes, put on your dancing shoes.