Saturday, December 24, 2011

Los Tetas Concert

This past Wednesday, I went to the reunion show of one of the biggest Chilean groups of the 90s, Los Tetas.  They were big in Chile in the 90s, but had broken up in 2004 and hadn't played together since then.  My friend Wasi is a big fan of theirs, so when he heard they were coming he told me we had to go.  I listened to a few songs like this:

...and I was in. I hadn't bought a ticket yet, but Wasi assured me I could get one at the theater.  So I said "sounds good", and made plans to see the reunion show of Los Tetas

I arrived at the theater about 90 minutes before showtime so I had ample time to buy a ticket.  From the outside, "Teatro Caupolican" is a classic concert theater, with a white with red letters marquee and light bulbs everywhere.  It felt a little out of place in this fairly native Chilean neighborhood.  There was barely any line for the box office, which surprised me a little.  The lines to get into the concert were already wrapping around the corner of the block.  As I approached the box office, I saw a sign which said all the tickets were sold out.  I cursed silently, and wondered how I could go about hunting down a scalper. 

It ended up being much easier than I thought.  Before I even got back out onto the sidewalk, a small Chilean lady walked up to me and said, "Comprai boletas?"

"Sipo." I replied, "la Tenis?"
"Claro.  Tengo un boleta por la platea, 20 luga"
"Ahhh quiero cancha."
"Ah ya, esta bien."  She reached into her shirt by her bra and unveiled another single ticket for the GA floor (cancha)
I smiled. "Buena, cuanto es?"
"25 luga."  She said with a stone face.  Game on.
"Bahh por la cancha?  Te doy 20."
"No hay mas boletas, si quieres, el precio es 25 luga"
"Esa es real?"  I said, trying to undercut her argument.
"Claropo, quieres pregunta la securidad?"  She starts to walk towards a man in a flourescent jacket.
"No, te creo te creo."  I responded.  I pulled 20,000 pesos out of my pocket.  "Aca, toma.  20 luga por la."
"No... necesito 25."
"Oka, chao."  And then I started to walk away from her.
"Esperate, joven.  24 luga."
I stopped. "Te doy 21."
She paused a second before responding "23?"
"Puedo pagar 22." I said, with a note of finality.
"Buena, 22 luga.  Dame"

I secretly smiled to myself as I took an additional 2000 pesos out of my wallet, and passed it to her.  A minor victory for my wallet, a major victory for my Spanish.

Wasi showed up a couple minutes later, and we headed across the street to a bar.  It was 8:00, and the opening act didn't even go on until 9.  There was a little hole in the wall bar in full view of the theater, so we decided to camp out there and wait on the rest of our friends to show up.  The place was pretty busy, so we took a booth that still had 2 empty glasses sitting there.  The waitress came by a couple seconds later, and we ordered 2 beers.  She nodded, and picked up the empty glasses.  I started to tell the story of my haggling for my ticket, and before I even got to the part where I met the lady, the waitress dropped off two full beers, and quickly walked away.  The glasses looked quite familiar.  In fact, they were the exact same glasses that had been sitting on the table not 45 seconds earlier.  Wasi and I looked at each other for a second, we shrugged, and raised the glasses in a toast.  "A Los Tetas!"

A beer or 2 later (we asked for "otros vasos" the second time, so the lady rinsed out the same glasses and brought them back to us.), the rest of our crew showed up.  We talked briefly about Los Tetas, and some favorite songs from the group.  It struck me halfway through the conversation that this was the band these guys grew up with.  These were the rock stars of their adolescence.  To them, Los Tetas were the same as Rage Against the Machine or the Red Hot Chili Peppers to me and countless other Americans my age.  This was the music that defined a very memorable time in their lives.  I became a little more excited for the concert - this was going to be a window into the past for many of my friends down here.

We headed across the street, and got in line for the security pat down.  The frisking was pretty light, I easily could have snuck things by her had I been so inclined.  But being the honest gringo that I am, I took everything out of my pockets before the pat down started.  I had a pen in my pocket, and the lady told me that I had to throw it out because it was considered a weapon.  I started to throw it into the nearby trash can, but my friend behind me said "He's from the US, he doesn't understand what you're saying."  So the lady just shrugged and let me in go in with my pen.  The security down here is nothing if not mildly apathetic.

Inside the theater, the concert was very similar to its US counterparts.  There was a big circular floor space, and 2 levels of raised seats surrounding the stage.  The opening act was midway into their set when we got there, and it didn't sound like we missed much.  The old percussionist from Cypress Hill was playing with them which was kind of cool, but the music wasn't anything to remember.  The concert atmosphere reminded me a lot of the shows I used to go to in the early 2000s, back when people could still smoke inside.  Looking out at the floor, it's a sea of heads and shoulders packed in tight, with plumes of smoke shooting into the air from the various smokers not wanting to exhale directly onto the people around them.  A little haze forms over the audience, which makes the stage lights a little more vivid and intense.  Here though, I detected that pot smoke constituted a larger portion of that concert haze.  I guess thats what happens at a funk concert.

The concert itself was great.  The whole crowd had a great energy to it; you could tell a lot of the audience knew the lyrics to every song.  Los Tetas played for a solid 2 hours, and trotted out a ton of guest performers, backup musicians, and human beatboxers to keep things interesting.  Over the course of the show, the performers each had a musical solo, all of which were pretty impressive.  After the show, a guy came on stage to tell everybody that there was a party here after the show, so everyone should stay.  I think about 1/4 of the people ended up sticking around, but most of the people on the floor left.  None of us really felt like dancing more after the show.

Another cool thing down here - everybody can take video/pictures of a concert, and it doesn't matter.  Internet piracy is a crime treated with the same respect as littering, or cursing in public.  I just checked youtube, and there are a ton of videos from the show.  Here's a few of my favorites:
Good times.  Viva Los Tetas!

1 comment:

  1. awesome. I love how the timing of the prep song corresponds with the time of reading til the first video. I was there.

    Can you put it in scene.