As soon as I heard that Lila Downs was performing in Oaxaca, I ordered two (muy facile), never imagining that I would end up in front row on the rail right next to the stage. Que milagro! Though my bags were checked at the gate, I managed to smuggle in my camera. All the signs said no cameras allowed. Fortunately, la prensa (the press) were seated right next to us with mega lenses in hand and I was able to easily blend in. Que milagro! Lila is an incredible performer and vocalist. She is also socially responsible and committed to her Oaxaca and Mixteca origins. It was a wonderful concert. The entire Guelaguetza stadium was packed and the energy was electric.
Color strobe lights changed the atmosphere from yellow and red to blue and green and all hues in between. A “smoke” machine created stage mystery. Lila added shawls, a hat, and a Tito Mendoza woven tapestry poncho to her repertoire as she interpreted each song.
She really knows how to connect with Oaxaca and her people. I took over 450 photos and wore down my battery. A photo extravanganza for sure.
The audience was enthralled. There are many foreigners in the city now to enjoy Dias de los Muertos. The stands were sprinkled with extranjeros. And the band played on!
Even with my long lens the environment was challenging. Her white dress. Constantly changing colors and movement. Being a novice shooter. I didn’t have my tripod and camera shake without it is predictable. Even though I balanced the camera on the rail to provide stability, you can see that many of my shots are imperfect. I was just grateful to be this close and personal.