Categories: Mario Sanguinet, THE BUZZ

THE BUZZ: House of Blues hosts Zoé—one of Mexico’s leading alternative/psychedelic rock bands.

by Mario Sanguinet

December 9, 2022

Zoé during their concert at the House of Blues San Diego. Photo: Mario Sanguinet

On the night of Dec. 6 2022, Zoé—one of Mexico’s leading alternative/psychedelic rock bands—performed a sold out show at the House of Blues. This was my third time seeing them live. But, it was the first time in over five years that I was at the House of Blues. 

We might be living in what could be a post-COVID world. Yet, after the pandemic years we all lived through, being back inside an indoor venue with a full-house, I couldn’t help but think, “Yeah, this would qualify as a super-spreader event.”

The opening act of the evening was Andrea Franz, a Southern California native who now resides in Mexico City. Her music was soft and mellow, yet still had an upbeat nature to it. The introductions she gave before/in between songs stand out because of how positively the audience reacted to them. 

Franz is also a trained graphic artist and she has done some of Zoé’s artwork. After the show ended, she stood by the merch table and spoke with anyone who approached her. She even signed a couple of things for those who asked. Keep an eye out for her

The sold out crowd watching Zoé perform. Photo: Mario Sanguinet

And while it is great to be back and experiencing live performances. It is also hard to reconcile the face-masked and socially distanced reality we lived in for two years and compare that to what we experienced the night of the show: a standing general admission section so packed that when the person in-front of me moved their head their hair tickled my face. 

Or that when someone moved through the crowd for a beer-run the squeezing took on a new dimension. It was like pressing on a nearly empty tube of toothpaste to eke out a little more. And then repeated the glorious experience when they came back double-fisting. 

Some things never change. 

Zoé went on stage at 9 p.m. and continued playing until nearly 11 p.m. with only a brief 10 minute intermission around 10:30 p.m. The set list included some singles and greatest hits, like “Azul,” “No Me Destruyas,” “Labios Rotos,” “Love,” “Vía Láctea,” “Poli,” and “Soñé” to name a few. This last one caught me off guard because I’m used to hearing the unplugged version. So hearing a rendition that matched the original album recording threw me for a loop.

Since Zoé’s song catalog is lengthy, there really was no way they could go/do wrong. The crowd cheered and sang along throughout the evening. When fan favorites were played, many pulled out their phones to record the moment, even if it took them away from the actual moment (which research suggests might decrease enjoyment of the experience, especially if the goal is to post the experience online). 

Given the location of the venue, and that Zoé is from Cuernavaca, Mexico, the lead singer, León Larregui thanked the folks who came from Tijuana to see them. I do wonder if folks from San Diego get such acknowledgements when they attend concerts in Tijuana. 

Zoé’s lead singer, León Larregui. Photo: Mario Sanguinet

Zoé’s concert production was great. The lights, fog machines, and screens showing a range of digital art with every song was excellent. Yet, a couple of times during the performance the mic had a few hiccups, including the dreadful feedback screech.

As an aside—and at the risk of seeming deeply uncool—this may have been one of the first times I remembered to bring and wear earplugs to a concert. 

It was magnificent. 

I was still able to hear and enjoy every aspect of the performance, even if it made it a little challenging to hear the person next to me. Then again, concerts are usually not the place to have a (prolonged) conversation. 

Upon leaving the venue, I removed the ear plugs. And wow, what a game changer. My hearing wasn’t muffled and the next morning I did not have that dreadful ringing in my ears. 

Overall, Zoé put on a great show and next time they’re in town you should definitely check them out, even if you don’t speak Spanish. Also, keep an eye out for Andrea Franz. And finally, the next time you go to a concert, bring and wear earplugs! You cannot go wrong with any of these options, so I suggest doing all three.

You can follow Zoé on Instagram and Spotify. 

You can follow Andrea Franz on Instagram and Spotify.

Check out the House of Blues events page to see what’s coming up.

Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.