Local and Widely Known Bands Take the Stage at 8th Annual Festival De Cascarones
While San Antonio crowds roamed the Festival De Cascarones, savored fried foods and participated at spin the wheel booths, four bands prepared for their performances. Each one had a different way of preparing for their performance.
One band member did push-ups before he huddled in a group of four, to pray with the rest of his band members. Another band engaged in secret handshakes, each engaging in a unique handshake with a different member and one solo acoustic artist consumed a single cold beer.
The eighth annual Festival De Cascarones took place April 29 at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. The festival invited four bands – Like A Sparrow, Bidi Bidi Banda, Blue Water Highway and Secondhand Serenade.
Like A Sparrow is a local alternative rock band who was first to perform at the festival. The four-member boy band consists of lead singer Jonathan Garcia, lead guitarist and current A&M-San Antonio student Andrew Martinez, drummer and A&M-San Antonio alumni Moses Gaitan and bass player Rudy Barrera.
Although they had performed in front of a crowd before, excluding newest member Barrera who did a set of push-ups minutes before performing, the festival was not only their first live performance in a year but also the anniversary of their first performance.
“We played our first show, I think it was like, four years ago today, so it was really special for us,” Garcia said.
The band also added that performing at the festival was special because it was their first professional performance. It was especially memorable for Martinez.
“This is the first professional stage we’ve performed on so it was really nice,” Martinez said. “Being able to showcase my talents as well as my bands is something I will never forget. I hope to come back again and rock it even harder next time.”
Gaitan, a returning alumni, said he was also excited to perform at the university he graduated from.
“I felt honored. It felt good to be back after a few years,” Gaitan said. “It made me smile that I got to play music at the university that I graduated from. It definitely felt good to be back.”
Second to perform was Bidi Bidi Banda, the Selena Quintanilla tribute band consisting of eight members who cover Selena’s biggest hits.
Although they had performed at other Fiesta events, lead singer Stephanie Bergara had a lot to say about what made performing at Festival De Cascarones different.
“It’s been so amazing to see all the other Fiesta events but for this one in particular, it was surprising,” Bergara said. “It was a pleasant surprise to get to this beautiful university. You don’t really see it until you’re in it and it’s so vibrant and colorful and I love that there is an homage to cascarones. This is a special event for sure, and Texas A&M-San Antonio is a special place.”
Blue Water Highway, who performed after Bidi Bidi Banda, prepared for their performance by “getting in the zone” and doing a secret handshake with band members.
“This is actually an essential part of our performance” said Zack Kibodeaux, the band’s lead singer.
Before their performance, Kibodeaux said that he had never performed on a university campus before, let alone, a Fiesta event.
“This is really cool, like Fiesta, there’s just all kinds of stuff around. I’m going to have to get my hands on a turkey leg,” Kibodeaux said. “The environment is really cool, it’s like a party.”
Like Blue Water Highway, Festival De Cascarones was the first Fiesta event Secondhand Serenade performed at.
John Vesely, the singer of Secondhand Serenade, said it wasn’t his first time performing at a university but it was his first time performing for Fiesta.
“The crowds are always fun and good especially when they serve beer,” Vesely said. “Everyone seems to be having a great time and everyone seems to be in really good spirits so it’s a lot of fun.”
Vesely was the first and only performance that consisted of just a singer, and he held a meet and greet after his performance.
“I love interacting with fans and just people in general,” Vesely said.
Brandon Oliver, the creative design manager of the university and line-up coordinator was happy about the turnout.
“I feel pretty good. I think the crowd was great throughout the whole day. I think we got the right blend of musical talent,” Oliver said. “I think this years line-up was really great, very fan friendly, and this is what builds, these are the building blocks. Next year should be bigger and the year after that should be bigger and so on.”