Like two sets in one.
Given that their name derives from a mix of California and Mexico, the initial mariachi feel that soundtracked Calexico's set shouldn't have came as a surprise. The horn section was to the fore and the drummer combined his maraca shaking with striking the drums with them, it was like a massive fiesta inside the tent. We can only be thankful the dry ice was coming down thick and fast, so much so that it was almost like rain.
The best way to describe the first half of the show was to liken it to an Ennio Morricone soundtrack to a violent spaghetti western, such was the intensity and tempo. The rhythm was pretty infectious in getting the crowd involved and Calexico were coming across well.
All weekend the brass section had been well received and this set was probably the pinnacle of it. Of all the foreign bands playing, Calexico were probably best suited to appealing to the locals and the heavy use of a Spanish guitar provided a familiar sound. The similarities between Mexican and Spanish folk music also aided the band in winning the audience over. With the locals on their side, Calexico seamlessly began to sing in English and played more conventional song styles but there was no let up in quality or crowd response. Theres a traditional feel to folk music that crosses international borders and the band excel in finding the common thread.
A cover of Loves 'Alone Again Or' provided many with an opportunity to sing along and as the set climaxed, Calexico could feel extremely happy with their evenings work.