It didn’t matter whether festival-goers were near or far from the Coachella stage when Grupo Firme started playing on Friday – as at the right time people grabbed a dance partner or went solo, jumping up and down to the beat. This is a typical Mexican side effect bandaged music, but I had never seen it in this capacity.
Grupo Firme made history at Coachella this year, becoming the first bandaged together to play the world famous festival. It’s a testament to not only the different genres that Coachella continues to book each year, but also the band’s enormous talent and stage presence.
Literally, Grupo Firme lit up the stage on the opening day of weekend 2, with intermittent fireworks and lights that flashed green, white and red in a nod to the Mexican flag. “Tonight is a special night because we can elevate our beautiful Mexico,” said one of the band’s vocalists, Eduin Caz, from the Mexican town of Culiacán.
The crowd kept the party going with “The Cajetosa” and was rocking on the band’s hit”El Toxico“They LOST it on the first beat of”Cada Vez Te Extraño Mas” and hosted the band’s cover of Karol G’s hitUse.“
Seeing some of the members’ wild outfits and colorful hair, one would expect them to incorporate trap or reggaeton sounds at all times. But although the members of Grupo Firme are young (most of them in their twenties), they stick to the traditional sounds of banda music, singing songs of love, grief and booze.
The seven-member group arrived on the Coachella stage after two AMA Latin wins in Las Vegas earlier in the week. In 2021, the band won their first Latin Grammy for Best Banda Album against legends of the genre including Banda El Recodo.
Grupo Firme had also just received a key to the city from Coachella earlier today. “The story behind Grupo Firme aligns so closely with our community. They come from very humble beginnings, but through hard work and determination they have been able to reach incredible levels of success, which resonates with many of our residents,” Mayor Steven Hernandez said of the group.
The group made sure that not only Mexican Americans, but all Latinos felt represented at Coachella, bringing out gigantic flags of Venezuela, Argentina and even singer Becky G waving the Mexican flag . Halfway through the show, the musicians also proudly displayed an LGBTQ flag on stage.
Unsurprisingly, the group dropped their viral hit “Ya Supérame” towards the end of the set and closed with “Gracias”. But the crowd, myself included, was happy to wait.
Eliana Perez covers the eastern Coachella Valley, including the towns of Indio and Coachella. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org/