Grupo Firme made history on Friday (April 15) becoming the first banda ensemble to ever play at Coachella. The Tijuana banda and norteño group – who last summer sold out seven back-to-back shows at the Crypcto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center) – flaunted their Mexican culture with a performance that featured hit after hit.
Hundreds of fans, mostly wearing tejanas and cowboy boots — a few carrying the Mexican flag — made their way to the main stage to watch Grupo Firme, a groundbreaking moment for the regional Mexican genre. Spotted among the festivalgoers was Voz de Mando‘s Jorge Gaxiola, who was one of the first ones to make the trek to the main stage.
Grupo Firme took the stage around 7:20 p.m. following a short video that teased the songs they’d sing during their 50-minute set. The video ended with a nostalgic Eduin Caz, the group’s frontman, who reflected on their achievements. “Today, a dream comes true, and I want to thank you for never giving up,” he said in the video. “I promise I will continue dreaming, I will continue singing. This is only the beginning.”
Then, the trumpet solos began and a tuba pumped the bass. Grupo Firme had arrived! They kicked off their set with “El Amor No Fue Pa’ Mí.” In between songs, the band danced and, as is tradition, took tequila shots straight from the bottle (or a cowboy hat), saluting to another milestone in their career. “Arriba los Latinos, cabrones,” Caz said to fans who cheered them on.
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At the beginning of the set, Caz came out in a more laidback outfit, sporting sneakers and a Gucci t-shirt. He then went shirtless, and soon came back wearing his traditional norteño outfit with a white cowboy hat and matching cowboy boots. During their set, which ended with fans screaming “otra, otra (one more),” they also sang “Ya Supérame,” “El Tóxico,” “Yo Ya No Vuelvo Contigo,” “La Cajetosa,” “Cada Vez Te Extraño Más,” “Hasta La Miel Amarga,” “Cada Quien” and even a cover of “Tusa.”
Regional Mexican music will have a big moment at this year’s Coachella, with three Música Mexicana acts on the roster (Firme, Natanael Cano and Banda MS), a nod to the genre’s global growth and international appeal it has gained in recent years.
“Regional Mexican music isn’t regional anymore. We are reaching a wider audience,” Caz previously told Billboard. “At our shows, we see flags from so many different Latin American countries. Latinos, not just Mexican fans, are enjoying our music. They see seven guys laughing, singing, having a beer or tequila shot, and people want to be part of this phenomenon. That’s why we filled Staples Center seven times.”