Concert Review

Artists for Action Voter Registration Concert and Rally at Marquee Theatre Last Night

Artists For Action featuring Calexico w/ Miniature Tigers, Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta, Big Son featuring Sam Means of The Format and Jeff and Chris of Reubens Accomplice, Sand Rubies, Salvador Duran, Kinch, and more...

August 27, 2010

Marquee Theatre

About 1,500 people showed up at the Marquee Theatre to support the Artists for Action voter registration concert and rally.

The free event was run by the Artist For Action group that uses music as a tool to support democracy and gets people at concerts to sign up to vote, came off as more of an awareness-raiser than a rally for change, but it was a nice event.

HeadCount volunteers spent the evening helping people register and sign a pledge to vote on November 2. Other organizations in attendance included Border Action Network, Repeal Coalition, No More Deaths, 3rd Pace (Sol Rebel Unity), Tonatierra, and Chicanos por la Causa.

Kinch kicked off the evening with a solid set on the outdoor stage, which was set up in the courtyard near the front of the building. Their set list included "All I Done" and "The Economic Chastisement," in addition to an untitled new song they've been working on.
They finished off with a heavier sound, implementing some screaming and a thunderous keyboard. Sadly, however, Kinch basically began the night by neglecting to speak up about anything political at all, which was

Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta blew everyone away with a fun, flawless upbeat performance of their Latin big band music. The brass section was fabulous, as expected,
and the band as a whole really showed Kinch up in terms of musical experience.
Sergio raised his cup and said "cheers," and everyone who had a drink in their
hand raised their cups and bottles with him. The fact that the crowd was
already enthusiastic about the cause they were there for only added to the
intense energy that Sergio y la Orkesta blasted throughout the room. He even
had a few brief stints where he tap danced in the middle of his songs. Baila! However,
Sergio was another artist who unexpectedly didn't say anything political. Really, what's up with that?

Thankfully, Miniature Tigers spoke up and encouraged fans to go out and vote and "put an end to this bullshit." Why it took so long for artists to mention their views last night may forever be a mystery.

Jennifer Allen, executive director of Border Action Network, gave a speech before introducing Calexico. "We have the power to take back Arizona," she said. Allen encouraged the audience to tell five of their friends about whom to vote for to ban SB1070. "It's about organizing," she continued. The crowd then booed Andrew Thomas and Tom Horne before Calexico took the stage.

Tucson's own Calexico stressed education, expression and "getting deep down into the music" at the beginning of their show. The performance included fan favorites "Not
Even Stevie Nicks," "Quattro (World Drifts In)," and "Across the Wire," which they ended with an amazing trumpet solo, and well as some instrumental jams.

While the evening was packed with musical talent, it surprisingly lacked much political expression. No loud picketers or protesters showed up to the event. A few people rocked Legalize Arizona shirts and political pins, but all in attendance seemed to have been there just to enjoy free music.

Even though most people who were there came in opposition of SB1070 and in support of voting, very few people voiced their opinions. If concertgoers wanted more information from an organization, they had to approach the table themselves; fans were not being approached, and nobody was walking around passing out fliers. If anyone wanted to sign a petition, they had to track down someone with a clipboard. The night seemed to be a gathering of a silent majority; everyone was there for a cause, but for the most part, nobody was taking much initiative. It was oddly inactive for such a supposedly
proactive event.

The Crowd: Families with children, hipsters and human rights activists

Overheard in the crowd: "Bring back the power to Arizona!"

Random Notebook Dump: Opening band Kinch might as well be considered as the newer, better Ben Folds Five.

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