While looking through this year’s lineup of the Blues & Jazz Festival Bamberg one band especially caught my attention: Super Cumbia Y La Liga De La Alegría. It was not only the unique and long name that made me click on their description but rather their incredibly fun looking promo photo. A bunch of people in homemade superhero costumes. I just had to find out who they are and I was not at all disappointed when I first heard their song: “La vida está hecha pa’ otra cosa” what roughly translates to “Life is made for something else”. As I felt that smile growing on my face and my body slightly moving to the beat, I knew I had to go and see them. What a great decision that was.
It was that super hot 32°C Thursday I made my way to Bamberg. Sleep deprived, with that extremely heavy backpack of mine and the sweat dripping down I finally arrived at the Maxplatz where the concert would take place a few hours later. Not long after that, the band drove by in an old VW bus that I later heard was their actual tour bus. How cool is that?
So when finally they were about to start playing I slowly got my gear together as I knew I would have the whole set to take photos. And there they were immediately putting a grin on my face. As soon as the first few notes were played I could feel the Cumbia take me almost like a spell. The goofy person that I am I made my way to the front of the stage dancing with the camera in my hand and making a new dancefriend that I met again later that day at a different concert. The improvised dancefloor that was basically just space they didn’t fill with benches and tables was full of people shortly after the superheroes from outer space started playing. I have to admit that it all felt a bit strange to me as I am not exactly the extroverted type that would move their limbs at a show but also never with a stranger. Looks like the healing aspect of Cumbia the band advertised was working on me, although I should say that photographing and dancing at the same time doesn’t exactly work well. There was just something about these Latin American rhythms that wouldn’t let me stand still, something about the band’s energy that blew away all the shame I usually feel when dancing in public (they even told the audience to not be ashamed. Looks like that worked). Sadly enough at this point, it was time to take a break.
Then suddenly the worst-case scenario became reality. Clouds started to overflow the sky completely and a terrible wind came out of nowhere. They announced that the concerts had to be stopped for safety reasons. “No more Cumbia for today”, I feared with a tasty brezel in my hand. “No more music medicine, no more happy dancing.” They deconstructed the stage while I was walking towards the other concert that was going on a few minutes from the Maxplatz. The place where later that day Rockin’ Carbonara would rock the night away. Full of hope I returned to the Maxplatz and my prayers were heard: Más cumbia. So I went back to the front, took a few more photos, bought a CD and sadly had to leave and go see and photograph at a different show. On my way out I waved goodbye at them and they even waved back. I obviously melted. But even now whenever I listen to one of their songs I can feel it taking away a few my worries and shame. Looks like Cumbia has found a place in my heart.
Location: Maxplatz, Bamberg
Band: Super Cumbia Y La Liga De La Alegria