Graffiti, beer and psychedelic Cumbia at MainFest Alhambra

The Alhambra Main Street Music Festival kicked off on Saturday afternoon. With major music acts like Miami Horror, Nite-Funk and headliner Capital cities, this is first time the city has ever hosted a concert of this magnitude.

Concert goers of all ages gathered right at the heart of Main Street, between the intersections of Garfield Ave and Second Street. After entering through the First Street entrance, they could participate in activities like graffiti painting and rock climbing, as well as visit food trucks and local business tents. Joy Lou, an Alhambra local, expressed shock at what she was witnessing around her. “I’m in complete disbelief. This is so wonderful. It’s very lively and exciting and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Thee Commons. Photo by Alejandro Ortega

Food and beverage at the festival was well stocked. Attendees had the choice of either entering the Lagunitas-sponsored beer garden, perfectly positioned in front of the main stage, or many of the Main Street businesses. “I believe this music festival is going to be great for local business,” said Alhambra resident Anita Wu. “You can choose between Rick’s burgers, The Boiling Crab, 38 degrees or any other type of food you’re in the mood for. It’s just so great for the city.”

The line up offered a great variety of acts for people of all musical tastes. It included fan favorites such as indie-pop duo Capital Cities, Australian indietronica band Miami Horror and dance-punk group !!! (or Chk Chk Chk). For fans like Anthony Melendez and Danny Liera, the excitement came at the chance to discover new music. “We specifically came for Capital Cities and Miami Horror, but we’ve discovered bands that we’ve never heard of. We came all the way from Orange County and to see a band like Thee Commons [a psychedelic cumbia-punk trio] is really great. This festival is amazing. It’s allowing bands that are right under the radar a chance to play. We really hope they bring it back next year.”

The crowd. Photo by Alejandro Ortega

The first act on the main stage was electro dance rock band Too Bad, from Venice Beach. We had an opportunity to speak with keyboardist Gerry Saint as he shared his experience with the Source. “Our set started at 1:10 pm. We were the first band of the day and it was great to be the band that kicks off this festival,” he said. “This is the first time that I know Main Fest is happening, so to be the first band on the main stage was really special for us.”

As the evening continued to unfold, local acts such as folk-punk band Manhattan Murder Mystery and the garage-pop sounds of Veronica Bianqui were attracting new fans on the local side stages. Some of the locations for the side stages include Azul Ultra Lounge and Taco Republic(formally know as Fronteras).  Sofia Chou was among the crowd with her two daughters. As she enjoyed spending time watching live music with her loved ones, she admired   how the city of Alhambra was able to pull off such a big event safely. “I believe the city is doing a great job as far as security goes. There is a strong police presence here so I have nothing to worry about. I feel truly safe,” she said.

The festivities went into the night. Photo by Alejandro Ortega

As the night slowly came to an end, headliners Capital Cities took the stage to a crowd of thousands. People sang along to every song and danced the night away. It’s safe to say that the very first Main Street Music Festival was a complete success. With many stating their desire for a repeat next year, hopefully the chances of that happening are extremely high.

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