Standing In Line
It was a pleasant Saturday evening in San Francisco as dusk was setting in. Approaching the Warfield Theater, the line wound down Market St. and around the corner to Turk & Mason, as fans waited anxiously for the doors to open to the anticipated Julieta Venegas concert.
No stranger to the Bay Area, Venegas has been performing here since the 1990s when she was featured with the band Tijuana No! Venegas is a Latin Alternative Pop diva who has won numerous Latin Grammy and MTV Video awards, and continues to produce crossover music of global proportions.
Her latest album MTV Unplugged garnered Venegas several nominations in the 2008 Latin Grammy Awards and she won for Best Alternative Music and Best Long Form Music Video. Since her debut album in 1998, Venegas has consistently grown as an artist and produced numerous albums that are relevant to her generation. The concert was not sold-out but it came close to it as the line became longer and longer.
The Warfield Theater is a legendary art-deco theater that has been going strong since its early 1900s Vaudeville origins. Bill Graham turned it into a rock palace when he was booking it in the 1970s, but it has undergone numerous changes since then. Now, AEG Live is booking it exclusively and it has been remodeled into a larger venue, enhanced with great sounds and lights.
The show opened with Ceci Bastida, a singer-songwriter from Tijuana, who has been featured with Venegas as backup singer. She explained that Julieta was a bit hoarse from the tour, so she was going to help out by singing a few songs. Ceci has a sweet voice, but her band and much of the music it presented was bland and felt uninspired. Ceci by herself, armed only with a guitar would have been instead a real treat, because she is very talented.
The Nachos and Coronas crowd of mostly twenty-something Latinos wasn't impressed either and some of them yelled for Julieta. An hour later, they got their wish when she wandered on stage and whispered, "hola!" to the crowd. This was her "MTV Unplugged Tour" and the...