Photo Source: Ashley Farias (Editorials Editor)
Flashing lights. Loud, booming screams. People pushing forward to get as close to the front as they can. Such a chaotic moment but it felt so amazing.
On November 10, 2019, I got the opportunity to attend the Tropicalia festival held at the Fairplex in Pomona. The festival was a two-day event from the 9th to the 10th, with the first day being based on Spanish music and the second day was based on indie bands. Attending Tropicalia was possibly one of the greatest experiences I had this year.
The festival was originally supposed to take place in Pico Rivera, but a few weeks before the festival took place they ended up changing the venue. Pomona is way further than Pico Rivera so I had to make sure to leave my house two hours earlier than the time the festival started. I left my house at around 9 and got to Fairplex at 10 am, just so I could get in line before it got super packed. Surprisingly, the lines weren’t massive and I was able to be towards the front of the line.
I was immensely excited to see all of my favorite bands perform. There were maybe around 60+ bands and performers at the festival. The festival included performances by Hunny, Beach Fossils, Surf Curse, The Marias, The Drums, Yellow Days, and Wallows. There were four stages scattered around the fairgrounds where each performer got to play.
The first performance I got to see was Hunny on the Toyota Stage. It was absolutely amazing. They played most of my favorite songs like “Saturday Night” and “Televised”. I sang my heart out and danced with the crowd. That crowd was probably the least crazy crowd of the day. It got even more intense later that day.
The two other bands I was there to see were performing on the Tropicalia stage. Surf Curse was performing first. It was my first time ever seeing them live so I was hyped. The crowd got super intense compared to Hunny’s crowd, so intense that my friend Steph was separated from me. I stayed in front and she got pushed towards the back. I even got kicked in the head by crowd surfers going wild. Everything turned out fine though. Surf Curse played their popular song “Freaks” and everyone went wild. Sweaty bodies all over the place dancing and moshing. Those people can mosh to almost everything.
The Drums played after Surf Curse, I was so excited because I already knew what was ahead. I had recently seen The Drums in July and I loved their performance. I got flashbacks as soon as they came on. At the last show, the crowd was crazy but I didn’t really care because I enjoyed the experience. My favorite songs from their set were “Heart Basel” and “Days”.
After every band played people would slowly move up towards the barricade to see Wallows. Wallows was playing after Yellow Days and everyone was ready for it.
It was finally 5:25 pm, it was time for Wallows to come out and play. The background music stopped playing and the lights went onto the stage. They walked out and everyone was yelling from their lungs. There were so many people there, hundreds maybe thousands. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My whole body was full of excitement. People were going crazy for them, pushing to get into the front. The first song they played was “Treacherous Doctor”, from their album Nothing Happens, one of my favorites. “Could I trust you with my thoughts? Or would you use them all against meeee.” I sang my heart out to every single lyric.
I’m surprised I didn’t lose my voice. I danced like no one was watching, without a care in the world. I wanted to stay in that moment forever. Wallows ended their set with “Pleaser”, one of my favorite songs. I couldn’t help but sing along, even though I have a terrible voice.”Quite the people please her if only I can please her.” Everyone was clapping to the beat and singing together. It was an amazing experience. I could never forget it.
After Wallows was done playing, I had to get out of that crowd immediately. I had been there for probably three hours. I was squished and sweaty but I didn’t care. It was difficult to get out of the crowd since there were hundreds of people behind me. The security guards had to carry me out of the crowd over the barricade. This one girl asked me if I was okay. I was more than okay, I felt incredible.
My friend and I had decided to meet up after wallows performed at an exit sign since we had got separated. We hadn’t eaten all day and surprisingly I wasn’t that hungry but we decided to eat something. The food was super expensive, the cheapest thing was a $15 quesadilla so that’s what I ended up eating. I devoured it and also got myself a refreshing $8 agua fresca de Sandia to hydrate myself.
Most of the bands and performers we came to see had already performed so we just walked around and talked about everything. We decided to leave a little early so the drive home wouldn’t be as hectic. The only band I didn’t get to see that night was Fidlar because they were performing later and we wanted to avoid traffic.
Although I didn’t get to see every band, the night was unforgettable. I would totally pay money to go again next year.
By Ashley Farias (Editorials Editor)