Sin Fronteras, Sin Estrellas

Backstage with the bands, all cleaned up and ready to go

By Dena Burroughs
Published on LatinoLA: August 8, 2002

Sin Fronteras, Sin Estrellas

Last Saturday?s ?Sin Fronteras? concert turned out to be Sin Fronteras y sin estrellas. There was no dancing to Pochi y su Cocoband, no bachata by Mochni and Alexandra, and no Alvaro Torres. People had pre-paid tickets at $35 per person, and others bought them at the door at $45 each to see these groups play, but around one in the morning the organizers announced that the night was over. They promised to refund the money to those who had kept their ticket stub and who would add their name to a list on their way out of the Palladium.

I heard all sorts of possible reasons for this fiasco. Perhaps K-LVE?s event at Dodger Stadium was too much to contend with; perhaps it was poor promoting, or maybe plain bad business practice. Some said that the bands did not want to play for a rather small crowd, others said that the bands did not play because the promoter would not pay them. Who knows?

All I know is that the bands were there, behind stage; all cleaned up and ready to go. At the end of the night they looked sort of annoyed. And how could they not be? Most of them stayed backstage the whole night, all dressed up and for nothing. As one of them said, "I could have been sleeping in my hotel room all this time!" Eventually they all got into their cars and vans and got on their way. Pochi and his Cocoband were supposed to fly out to Chicago that very night.

Every cloud has a silver lining though. This cloud?s silver lining was my back stage pass. What a better place to be but back stage where all the musicians were stuck at all night long! Think about it...under those circumstances even I was entertaining enough that they actually wanted to talk to me! I got to take pictures with Pochi and several of his band members, and actually had very nice conversations with a couple of his musicians.

Andy Williams, the trumpet player, is a gem. He is a charming, friendly 22-year-old Dominican born into a family of musicians and whom, as young as he is, has already played with several well-known groups in Santo Domingo. He was cute all dressed up, patiently waiting for his group?s turn to perform, and since it never seemed to arrive, in the meantime we danced merengue, salsa, and even bachata. For those of you who know what dancing bachata with a Dominican is like? yeah? I was having the time of my life!

Eddie Heredia was also very nice. Eddie is a musician from New York and he is now touring with Pochi. He told me about the places they?ll be playing at in the next few weeks, including Chicago, New York, and Germany.

As you can imagine, I had a fantastic time hanging out back stage, taking pictures with these guys, and particularly dancing with Andy. I am thrilled that they were all, Pochi included, so nice and approachable. am sorry their short visit to Los Angeles was not a bit more productive, but I wish they could know that unknowingly, they totally made this salsera?s weekend! The next time Pochi and his Cocoband are in town, I will for sure be there!

Thank the Salsa gods for silver linings on the clouds!

Note: In case you have not heard of Pochi y su Cocoband before, they are merengueros from the Dominican Republic. They mix salsa, soca, and techno sounds to produce their own take on merengue. If interested, go to http://www.Towerrecords.com, and search for their CD ?Ponle Sazon?, where you can listen to a few tracks of their songs and get an idea of what their music is like.

I?ll tell you this much? it?s worth it!

About Dena Burroughs:
Dena Burroughs is a LatinoLA correspondent and loves to dance!

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