WACO is a new music festival that began in Torreón, Coahuila a year ago, and recently hosted its second edition, featuring international projects like France’s Joakim, Chile’s Dënver, and Costa Rica’s Las Robertas, along with a nice curation of up-and-coming Mexican talent.
We’ve been documenting the birth and development of this south-of-the-border WACO — La Comarca Lagunera’s only alternative music and arts festival to date (at least, that we know of) — since the jump. Check out our photos from the first and second editions of WACO to see how the festival has gained steam in just two short years.
I’ve never been to Torreon before, so the idea of spending 13 hours in a van to get there wasn’t that bad; plus we were traveling overnight, and with a little help from my friend Dramamine, I planned to sleep all way down. Besides, I was supposed to meet Las Robertas there, so we could continue the adventure that had started the night before at El Imperial, in Mexico City. The night I embarked for Torreon, they played in Guadalajara with Has a Shadow and locals Hey Chica!, then took a bus to WACO at 4 am. You know, tour life.
Why are gorditas so famous in Torreon? I don’t know, and neither do the locals — it’s a big mystery.
We got to Torreon around 11 am, right in time to grab a traditional breakfast called “gorditas.” Why are gorditas so famous in Torreon? I don’t know, and neither do the locals — it’s a big mystery. We stuffed our faces, made a brief pit-stop at the hotel (food coma) then headed out to La Bombonera, the venue where WACO was being held.
The first band I caught was Hawaiian Gremlins, who drove from Monterrey because they had a gig the night before with Dënver, Clubz and Bofo 100 (Little Jesus’ Santiago and Poni alter ego). Despite some technical issues, they managed to put on a good show before Los Mekanicos took the stage. If you can get people dancing even when the sun is blazing at high noon, then you’re doing your job.
Next in line was MC Peligro, from Guadalajara, with a little bit of mexbow to keep the dance party going. It was a funny show, but I peeled off halfway through to meet my buddies Las Robertas at El Mezquite, a brand new food truck from Torreon.
After snacking it was time for them to hit the stage, and despite some technical problems with the pedal board (a recurring theme), they had people headbanging, jumping, and getting crazy. It was an awesome moment to see: a three person band band making such a massive garage/punk/pop sound. Unfortunately, the stage manager cut their set off; apparently the festival was already running behind schedule. Womp womp.
After Las Robertas it was Peruvian duo Animal Chuki’s turn, a band with the best soundtrack for getting wild in the desert — so naturally, all the weirdos came out. A few strange encounters with dopplegangers and aggressive vegan shirtless dudes later, it was Dënver’s turn to perform.
At this point, the night started to embrace us and so did the party. Everything was fun; we had beer, mezcal, and great music, and it all became a blur of singing along to every song while putting out feelers for the after party.
Word on the streets was Room 112, at our hotel, was the move. But before we could get there, we had to brave the shuttle mob scene situation, aka the perpetual Mexican festival struggle. We were feeling pretty nice by that point, so we entertained the waiting crowds by singing every song we knew, from José José to The Ramones to Maná — the peak moment being a collective choir rendition of “Sin tu amor” by Big Boy.
We finally got to the hotel, Room 112 became our best friend. MC Peligro’s dudes came through with a boom box and the party started. Fuete Billete and Arcangel were blasting through the speakers all night, along with other hip hop stuff.
The trip back wasn’t quite as good as the way there. Now, Las Robertas, Volga Beach (Santiago from Hawaiian Gremlins), Taquito Jocoque (a mexican artist), Animal Chuki, and myself, were in the same van. We didn’t really know that the trip was going to take 16 hours, thanks to a tire from the van that exploded. Plus, hangovers.
It was a chaotic trip back home, but totally worth it. We’re looking forward to seeing what WACO brings us next year.