For those of you that keep up to date with what I do here this band might bring back some memories as I have written about them a good year ago. I usually try not to give my unqualified opinion about a band twice especially after only a year but this one is special in more ways than one. So buckle up we are going back to the World of Cumbia.
Not gonna lie I was terribly excited to see this band again and also to get another shot at photographing them. I am always a bit anxious when I revisit a group simply because I fear I won’t get results that are as good as the previous ones. The exact same thing applied to Delta Moon back in May but maybe even more extreme as the concerts were only a few months apart. To be honest this time it is even harder for me to tell if i improved or not and it sounds very odd I know. So I will leave that up to you to decide.
Enough with the negativity! Let’s clear our minds from it and focus on la alegría shall we? That day I had to get up super early for my taste at least to make it to the hostel breakfast. After doing some sorting in the room I took a walk through Bamberg admiring the old architecture while I couldn’t wait for time to pass. I was sneaking around the Maxplatz like an idiot when I happened to run into an old friend who helped me waste some time.
Then finally the gig started and the Maxplatz was already decently filled which I was happy to see. I grabbed my camera, packed everything I needed into my belt bag and made my way to the stage which this year was a bit blocked by some subwoofers (?) I think. Obviously I ended up squeezing throught the small space between them and later even sat on them. I hope you appreciate me going out of my way and me getting a bunch of bruises even to present to you these photos today.
I didn’t realize how much I missed the sweet sounds of Super Cumbia Y La Liga De La Alegría until that moment. I actually do own one of their CDs which I failed to bring with me to get it signed. Yes, I am very smart I am aware. Well, a CD is obviously never the same as going to the actual concert. It addresses way more senses than just the ears.
Just like the previous gig the music immediately got to me and I could feel it flow all around me. It is actually quite hard to put my finger on why this band works so goddamn well in every way shape or form but I will try my best. I remember the first thing that really drew me towards them over a year ago was this goofy energy that they embrace and masterfully spread. It lacks this try-hard mentality that simply turns everything into something rather uncomfortable. I cannot know for sure why it is that way but one thing that is part of this is them not taking themselves too seriously. It is all about having fun and expressing this in a positive sense weird side we all have but are too afraid to show. Super Cumbia Y La Liga De La Alegría speaks to people this much simply because they give you the space to be expressive and make a fool of yourself without having to fear any possible embarassment. They create this via something pretty simple: costumes. These seem so ridiculous at first but they are so effective. By being so confident and open about it they push every possibility of potential public embarassment out of the way and literally invite people to let out their expressive weird side.
The band themselves refers to Cumbia as medicinal which hits the nail on the head. The music itself already carries a highly positive and happy energy which you can’t help but move to and smile broadly. It is the kind of thing that holds the power to bring light to the heaviest of days. This effect obviously gets stronger when you are present at one of their live performances by the fact that even more senses are addressed and the presence of other like minded people you will share a silly dance with. The band encourages any way of participation which varies from dancing to them teaching you some Spanish so you can become a part of this group. It really felt like in those two and a half hours everything outside of this bubble just ceased to exist. It is in a way like as if you left everything that weighs you down off your shoulders as soon as you enter this safe space. A pretty healing experience is created by this.
Obviously I couldn’t escape this magic spell and shared my fair share of quite terrible dance moves with the smiling strangers around me while I attempted to sing in the very few Spanish words I recognized or remembered from the songs on the CD. I should mention I usually don’t sing or dance in public ever. So chapeau Super Cumbia Y La Liga De La Alegría for helping me to get in touch with my goofy self.