One of the pleasures of Banderas Bay during high season is the abundance of live music; on a beach, in a hidden neighborhood bar, a secluded village or the middle of Vallarta; afternoon, evening or late night.
The talent of the musicians is inspiring, and their dedication to their art and the pleasure they radiate when mingling with the audience between sets creates a bond between the musicians and the crowd. There are many genres of music in the area but my wife and I favor Rock and Blues; Hard Rock, Loud Rock and Soulful Blues.
The lack of a vehicle did not deter us.
Monday nights we would bus from Bucerias to La Cruz (twelve pesos) and walk (ten minutes) from the highway to Ana Bananas for a 7:00 pm start.
Soul Trip, with their mix of blues, rock, and funk provide a concert-like performance, with many in the audience having a surprised “these guys are good” expression. Crowds increased as word spread, so it was best to get there early, but in reality, there are no bad seats. An evening at Ana’s is like an evening in a friends’ backyard.
Trip home via cab: one hundred fifty pesos.
Wednesday saw us bussing to Bucerias Centro (eight pesos, start time 7:30 to 8:30 pm, it depends) where Trez Cuatroz played at Jax; classic hard rock, volume cranked, the singer/bass player engaging the audience and an energized drummer. Some nights we actually stayed up past midnight.
Trip home via cab: seventy pesos.
We utilized FB to research the Bucerias and Vallarta music scene. Both bands played several gigs a week in Vallarta and they both played Friday afternoon at different times. This called for a Road Trip.
Fridays started with a 1:30 pm trip into PV, and frequently as we disembarked, the city bus (Centro) we required pulled up immediately. Ride the bus until you come to the only Pemex in downtown (Streets Peru and Nicaragua) and look for Lukes Bar, an intimate place where you enjoy twenty-five pesos beer and camaraderie with fellow rock enthusiasts. Trez Cuatroz plays from 3:00 – 6:00 pm and when they are playing you will have no problem locating Lukes.
We would leave Lukes around 4:30 pm, catch a cab (seventy pesos) to the Oasis del Holi behind the La Isla Mall for Soul Trip (4:30 – 6:30 pm) and their mix of wailing harmonica and blues, backed by classic rock, funky soul music and astonishing vocals.
Ten-minute walking brought us to the main road, cross the street and we would flag a Bucerias bound bus (seventeen pesos) or you could catch a “Walmart” city bus (seven.five pesos) and board the Bucerias bus at the Walmart.
We were home by 8:00 pm, street lights weren’t even on and we had enjoyed a full day of fun.
Life is not always fair. Tuesday in Vallarta, Soul Trip played from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, but just around the corner at Captain’s Dons another favorite, “The Gecko Band” played at the same time. Luckily the Gecko Band played three times a week in Bucerias so I do not have to confess how we resolved the Tuesday situation.
Sadly, high season is over and venues are less crowded so schedules are being “adjusted”. Guess I will have to “find and follow the music” for the low season.