They waited hours in line, came from all corners of the Tri-state area, and had to shell out $60 on tickets to see the band Cafe Tacvba for the third or seventh time.
Eager to collect fandom statements on what makes a Cafeta fan a real, super, ultimate fan, I flew into New York City from Miami to attend its Monday night concert. Being a fan for the past 15 years and this probably being my 25th time going to a Cafe Tacvba show, I thought I was a super fan. But after talking to folks, I wonder if I'm committed enough to call myself one. There, I was not able to find anyone who would even self-identify as a "super fan" (is my terminology off?). Turns out Cafe Tacvba fans are so devoted to them, they believe they are not worthy of their fandom. They downplay their devotion, because proclaiming they are Cafe Tacvba super fans would entail great responsibility.
Being a Cafe Tacvba fan is not about boasting your intricate knowledge of their b-sides or how many times you've partied with them on tour. It's about moshing and getting crazy to a cover of 60's love ballad "Como Te Extraño, Mi Amor" and screaming to the top of your lungs to a heart-wrenching song titled "El Puñal y el Corazon" because that's how deep and intense your connection with their music, their lyrics, their story is.
Here's what NYC fans had to say about why they love the band and why they're "NOT" super fans.
|These Kids' Parents Are Cooler Than Yours|
Ten-year-old Kevin was standing first in line outside Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom, along with sisters Evelyn, 15, Brenda, 17, and their parents. Kevin denied being a "super fan," even through the family traveled two hours from Middletown, NY to see Cafe Tacvba.
The siblings have been listening to the band since they were little thanks to mom and dad. Kevin says they are "good composers" and Brenda says that in order to be a "super fan" you need to "know all their lyrics" (which of course, they say they do). Their favorite song is the love ballad "Eres."
Amanda, 21, is from La Paz in Baja California and lives in Manhattan. Since it was Mexico's Independence Day, she proudly wore the flag's colors on her hair and earrings and said that going to the concert made her "feel like home." She waited patiently in line like a pro and said her favorite song is the slow-paced "Aprovechate" from Cafe Tacvba's latest album, "El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco" ("The Object Formerly Known as Album.") Like a true fan, she doesn't just like the obvious hits but appreciates the more experimental material too.
Carlos, who lives in Brooklyn, has been listening to Cafe Tacvba since he was 14-years-old (he's now 31). He's seen them live a bunch of times, including at Mexico City's Zocalo square with like 100,000 other crazy fans.
He admits he's a total sucker for the oldies such as 1992's ska-tinged "Pinche Juan," "Las Batallas" (which goes "Oye Carlos...") and the folky "Maria" because "it reminds me of someone." Of course, Carlos rejected the "super fan" label but acknowledged that "I never get tired of them. They hype people up, it's the best way to de-stress" he said.
When asked what his favorite Cafe Tacvba song was, Jose started by saying "The one that makes me cry the most is...." but he couldn't choose one, and rather picked the entire 1994 album "Re."
Cry? I just asked for a favorite song! "The music moves me," he went on to say, "I can forget everything here, my job. I like what they talk about, how they think." He sewed the "Gallo Gasss" mask himself the night before and bought an overpriced official merch t-shirt at the show. Still, this 28-year-old Bronx resident insists he does not consider himself a "super fan": "I have other bands I like, but they fascinate me." You can't deny it, buddy.
Hermes, 31, felt compelled enough to contact the band through the official website to tell them how he grew up with their music, his aunts dancing to Cafe Tacvba at family parties, how he had all their albums and had seen them play three times before. The band emailed him back with VIP tickets and backstage passes for him and sister Rosario, 29, for this show.
Still, Hermes has the guts to say he's not a "super fan" but "I like all their songs." Rosario says they were really nice backstage before the show and her favorite song is the Cafeta ultimate classic "Ingrata." They know their sh*t, they know how to get themselves backstage, yet they deny being "super fans." I give up.