It’s sort of shocking to me to realize that with all the music festivals taking over Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, very few of them celebrate the history and heritage of LA in any meaningful way. I don’t mean to say that they do a poor job of recognizing LA artists or local establishments; I’ve eaten a Kogi taco or two while taking in performances from the likes of Angelenos like Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy, Overdoz and Miguel. But LA is more than rap, more than rock, more than the beaches and Hollywood and Sunset and Silver Lake.
Go figure it would take an experimental cartoon band dreamed up by a British rock star to finally recognize the rich Mexican history built into the roots of this town, from the original pueblo to the Latino culture that permeates its buildings and streets. The Demon Dayz festival may have been the first major festival headlined by any artist as huge as the Gorillaz to nod to that culture, from its venue to its associated acts and even the non-musical entertainment. It was truly something special to see and I hope that the city sees more of it as often as possible.
The Pico Rivera Sports Arena where the festival took place isn’t a widely recognized venue for big music events like Staples Center or The Forum. It isn’t centrally located like Exposition Park and it isn’t anywhere near the Santa Monica Pier. The arena is primarily used for rodeos, boxing matches, and Latin entertainment, including lucha libre exhibitions, and in a way, that’s exactly what it was used for on Saturday as well. With the DJ-ing provided by Chulita Vinyl Club, an all-girl, all-vinyl collection spanning the Southwestern United States, the air was filled early on with the sounds of chicano oldies, Mexican punk, Tejano, and other genres that would be familiar to any longterm resident of LA’s most historical, but overlooked neighborhoods.