April 10, 2017
Gazebos filled the mid and lower quad at Rio Hondo for its first ever music festival titled Riopalooza, an event for Rio Hondo students to show their musical talents on stage to the attendees. One problem it faced was that not many students attended the event at steady numbers.
Even with clubs like Spectrum, Artists Creating Theater, Journalism Communications Public Relations club, and various others attracting students to their booths, not much could be done to keep a consistent crowd for the artist performing. Booths sold items like Wingstop, horchata/jamaica, Linda Parra performing for a small audience outside of the Learning Resource Center for Riopalooza April 6.
Booths sold items like Wingstop, horchata/jamaica, nachos, Hot Cheetos with cheese, pastries, tacos, and even offered face painting. Henna tattoos and a few other free activities kept the attention of the students that did participate.
Another problem with Riopalooza was that the stage was placed right in front of the Learning Resource Building, a possible distraction for the students in the library who might have wanted to get some work done in peace. While there were no music complaints from any staff members, it did take a while for the first performances to start as the DJ played music for 30 minutes until it began.
The first three acts that went up were Indigo State, Sandy and Danny, and Don David. Although the first few acts were really talented, they were not enticing enough for students to go to the stage and enjoy the show. It was not until the next four bands where more students were able to finally get into the music.
The Red Leslies played after a short intermission and their distinct sound had them stand out from the whole event. They started with a cover of one of The Growlers songs and the great vocals from the their lead singer, Luis Buenrostro Sanchez, captivated the small crowd that had finally gathered.
Their 10 song set was the longest of the day and one of the most impressive, playing original songs before ending with the classic White Stripes songs, Fell in Love with a Girl. The next best sets came from three separate acts from Miguel Juarez, Freddy Vazquez, and Linda Parra.
Juarez was one of the more shocking acts to perform, as his voice was reminiscent to that of Frank Sinatra. Vazquez’s set brought some intensity and swagger, as more of a crowd started developing with his following. Playing his standout song What I Bring, he definitely brought excitement to Riopalooza and left people wanting for a bit more.
When Parra went up, it was much more surprising as her soothing vocals and her guitar playing made the event much calmer. The final band named Vulcan Death Grips, composed of Juan Arcos Jr., Erik Ramirez, Branda Nguyen and Gerson Diaz, was on par with Vazquez’s set brought some intensity and swagger, as more of a crowd started developing with his following. The Red Leslies in terms of talent and sound structure, having The Drums and Mac Demarco type of feel to them and an enjoyable set altogether.
The only problem with the set was that it was the final set of the day at 7 p.m and while most bands would like to have the last set of the day, most students either went home or were in their final class of the day, leaving the crowd void of spectators.
While the booths had success with students looking for food or drinks, the bands were definitely overlooked because of the time and date of event. If there was one thing to definitely improve on the event is to change the time and make it start earlier so the acts that played can have the recognition they deserve.