Faces painted to resemble colorful skulls and skeleton patterns were in high quantity last Friday when the Día de los Muertos Tour made landfall at UCSB’s Campbell Hall. The lineup featured Grammy Award–winning group La Santa Cecilia, as well as all-female, Grammy-nominated quartet Mariachi Flor de Toloache and popular alternative-rock band Mexrrissey.
Opener Mariachi Flor de Toloache surprised the crowd when it transitioned from its traditional mariachi set into Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.” When Mexrrissey took the stage next, the group got the already-excited audience up and dancing to dynamic, experimental songs.
Both Mariachi Flor de Toloache and Mex-
rrissey were incredibly entertaining, but when La Santa Cecilia took the stage, lead singer Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernández held the crowd spellbound with her captivating vocals. The group performed many subgenres of traditional Mexican music, highlighting the accordion in its ranchera cover of “Leña de Pirul.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the band played the love song “Como Dios Manda,” dedicated to two fans who got engaged during the sound check. “I’m happy that this love song is one of our generation,” Hernández said to the audience.
Many concertgoers were there to celebrate their late loved ones and indigenous ancestors, who continue to be a significant part of their lives, while listening to the music that makes them proud of their Mexican-American heritage.