By Salma Rios
On Oct. 5, La Santa Cecilia performed at Hancher to a packed house. The band had been around the Iowa City area during the week, touring the city and visiting the campus and campus resource centers such as the Latino Native American Cultural Center.
La Santa Cecilia is a Latin rock group from Los Angeles. Its music is a mix of Latin American and Pan-American styles such as cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, jazz, and klezmer.
The band sings songs about love, loss and, everyday struggles in both English and Spanish. It won a Grammy in 2014 for Best Latin Rock album for the album Treinta Dias (Thirty Days) and were nominated for the 2017 Grammy’s, again in Best Latin Rock album with its most recent album, Buenaventura.
The Hancher performance was a good way to spend a free night away from endless midterm study sessions. Hancher is a beautiful building, all white marble, clear glass, and glittering lights.Merchandise for the band was sold by the front doors. CDs, records, photos, and T-shirts lined the merchandise table waiting to be bought.
The doors to Hadley Stage opened at 7 p.m. and groups of people flocked in to get good seats. The stage was ready for the band to come onstage, the instruments already in place.
Soon, the lights went down, and the band members entered the stage except for vocalist La Marisoul. The instrumentalists began to play and she entered the stage to vigorous applause from the audience, wearing a colorful and pouffy dress with the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe in sequins on the right side.
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La Santa Cecilia played a variety of fast and slow songs, as well as some of its older songs mixed with songs from the new albums. La Marisoul’s vocals were phenomenal. Her voice conveyed so much emotion and passion, both in Spanish and English, that the audience members could feel as if she were singing to each of them individually.
Toward the end of their performance, the band payed homage to the great Latin American artists who had came before them, a medley of songs by artists such as Vicente Fernandez and Juan Gabriel. The medley got people out of their seats and flooding the aisles to dance.
At the end of the set, La Santa Cecilia thanked Iowa City and left the stage amid thunderous applause and cheers.
But then something special happened.
La Santa Cecilia came back onstage and performed three more songs for the crowd. The band dedicated the song “Nunca Mas” (No More) to the immigrants going through tough times in order to survive. “We want to dedicate this song to you [immigrants] to say that we see what you’re going through and that we support you,” said one of the band members. They also played a song called “El Hielo” (Ice), another song about immigrants.
The band also played John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields,” except they put their unique twist on it. Overall, the concert is one that will stay in the hearts and minds of those in attendance forever.