Día y Noche de Los Muertos returns to Hollywood Forever, creating a cathartic experience with Ed Maverick, Hermanos Gutiérrez & more

Día y Noche de Los Muertos 2022By Iván Fernández //

Día y Noche de Los Muertos featuring Ed Maverick, Hermanos Gutiérrez, Son Rompe Pera, Thee Sacred Souls //
Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Los Angeles
October 29th, 2022 //

Typically, there’d be cause for serious concern when thousands of people congregate in a cemetery on a Saturday. The last thing we need in our not-quite-post-pandemic world is a mass gathering of a demonic cult or an apocalyptic scenario previously only imagined by the likes of the creators of the “Doom” video game franchise.

However, when the reason turns out to be the 23rd annual Día y Noche de Los Muertos event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in LA, the main concern is searching for a place to sit to eat between performances. The festival is one of the largest Day of the Dead-related events in the world outside of Mexico and Latin America. Attendees over the years have been regaled with impressive lineups of Mexican and Latin American artists along with the dozens of altars built by community members in honor of their departed loved ones.

For many years, the event at Hollywood Forever and the Día de los Muertos event at Self-Help Graphics on the other side of the county were the only large-scale celebrations of the cultural holiday in LA. In our post-“Coco” and “The Book of Life” world, they are national torchbearers for a region with the largest Latin American diaspora in the country.

The festival’s first edition in 1999 was a small affair featuring some live music, a couple of altars and roughly 300 people. At its peak about six to seven years ago, 40,000 people were dancing along near the memorial and burial sites of celebrities (one half of the original Ramones lineup, Johnny and Dee Dee, are laid to rest here along with Mel Blanc, Mickey Rooney, Burt Reynolds, Jonathan Gold, the DeMilles, the Chaplins, etc.) and non-celebs alike, some who were laid to rest in the late 19th century. Since 2021, the festival has pulled a Coachella of sorts and split into two separate events at the same location: a daytime cultural event dedicated to families and kids to learn about the history and specific cultural practices of Day of the Dead followed by a nighttime event featuring three stages of live music.

The 2022 edition welcomed over 20,000 people to the cemetery grounds for a day of music and remembrance. This year’s theme was dedicated to Mayahuel, the Aztec goddess of fertility and maguey (agave), the plant where pulque, mezcal and tequila are derived from. There’s a tragic backstory about the romance between Mayahuel and Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, that ends in her death. His tears fall on her grave and create the agave plant, “producing pulque and mezcal to forever lesson our miseries and lift our grief,” to quote the event’s press release.

Día y Noche de Los Muertos 2022 - Thee Sacred Souls


Thee Sacred Souls

There was certainly something of that in the air this year. Though it was still a fun celebration of life, perhaps the weight of these past two years has made people’s sentiments heavier. You could see it in the elaborate altars placed along the pathways from the cemetery to stages and art exhibits.

Everywhere you looked, there was an old portrait of a married couple as well as photos of an infant, boys, girls and teens whose lives were all tragically cut short. The beauty in the Day of the Dead event is how these portraits are also adorned with items that reflected the warmth of their lives, however short or long. Creating an altar takes time and an emotional effort by their builders that helps them confront their grief. There may not have been much pulque or mezcal on the grounds, but the miseries of recent times were certainly lessened through these public displays of grief and love.

The performers for the night also did a wonderful job of bringing people together and lessening their miseries while lifting their grief. The night began with San Diego’s Thee Sacred Souls. The trio of singer Josh Lane, drummer Alex Garcia and bassist Sal Samano have seen their star rise quickly over the past year-and-a-half thanks to a combination of Lane’s Marvin Gaye-esque vocal styles and their mesmerizing take on Chicano soul and R&B.

Día y Noche de Los Muertos 2022 - Son Rompe Pera


Son Rompe Pera

Thee Sacred Souls were joined onstage with a pair of backup singers, a guitarist and a pianist/organ player to fill out their sound. Though the trio has just one full-length album to its name so far, songs such as “Can I Call You Rose?”, “Weak For Your Love” and “Love Comes Easy” have become instantly recognizable by the band’s growing legion of fans. Tears flowed, kisses were planted and lovers hugged as the band gracefully swung from one love balled to the next.

Son Rompe Pera, on the other hand, were the exact opposite. If you’re ever curious as to what a combination of cumbia and marimba music from Mexico’s southeastern coast sounds like when fused with the ethos and energy of hardcore punk, then you must make it your mission to watch these guys live.

At the heart of Son Rompe Pera’s sound is not an accordion, a guitar or a drum, but the graceful xylophone! Never have I seen so many people lose their minds over watching a guy who looks like Edward Munson’s Mexican twin rocking out on a minutes-long xylophone solo. Never have I also seen a mosh pit start thanks to a xylophone solo, and even less have I ever encountered a mosh pit where a man felt comfortable enough to run circles in it with his very young daughter cheering him on while riding on his shoulders.

Día y Noche de Los Muertos 2022 - Hermanos Gutiérrez


Hermanos Gutiérrez

The Mexico City outfit from the town of Naucalpan is also an example of how to restructure your recorded music for a live setting. Songs such as “Calculadora” and “Tortuga del Arenal” have a danceable, yet mellow rhythm to it on the album. When played live though, the songs take on a faster rhythm, with the marimba and cumbia accents ceding ground to the group’s punk vibe.

This is where I question the order of the artists on the lineup. Hermanos Gutiérrez went up next and played beautifully. Brothers Alejandro and Estevan Gutiérrez are two talented musicians who play guitar together, swapping between acoustic, electric and slide guitars during their shows. The Zurich-based duo’s instrumental music swept me away, carrying me into a mystical world soundtracked by their cinematic, western style.

Unfortunately, some in the crowd were still riding the high from Son Rompe Pera and jarred by the switch in energy and music, prompting me to wonder if it would have been better if Hermanos Gutiérrez performed before Son Rompe Pera. It’s a shame really, but it was wonderful to hear songs from their latest album El Bueno Y El Malo (The Good And The Bad), which they recorded with Dan Auerbach and released on The Black Keys frontman’s record label Easy Eye Sound, along with a few older cuts. There was something about listening to title track, “Tres Hermanos” and “Hermosa Drive” live in a cemetery that added to the experience and aura of the night’s festivities that no other performer had.

Día y Noche de Los Muertos 2022 - Ed Maverick


Ed Maverick

The evening’s headliner Ed Maverick was a smart choice to close things out. I knew the fest had taken a somber and introspective turn when the promoters announced him to lead the lineup. In fact, the “Sad Boy Supreme” of Chihuahua, Mexico, was stopping through LA on his first-ever world tour — and he did not disappoint.

Even from a distance, it’s easy to tell that his sad-boy schtick isn’t a performance but who he truly is. It also shouldn’t be a surprise considering he titled one of his albums Mix Pa’ Llorar en Tu Cuarto (A Mix to Cry in Your Bedroom). And yes, he performed his sad-boy anthems, but he and his band gave the songs an aura that matched the grief-lifting vibes of the night.

Maverick and his band adapted other songs from Mix and his 2021 LP Eduardo to give them a larger presence live. “Hola, ¿cómo estás?,” for example, filled the event like an anthem meant for a stadium as opposed to the recorded version’s floating, atmospheric vibes. Meanwhile, “Fuentes de Ortiz”, “Acurrucar” and “Quiero” became cathartic sing-alongs for thousands of fans in attendance.

Maverick didn’t have too much to say between songs and let his music do most of the talking. However, when he did speak to the crowd, he had to pause with a smile and wait for the lull between screaming and cheering fans to be heard. He ended the night with a lengthy guitar solo that cemented his newfound status as a rock star and new king of the sad boys.

Whatever grief guests carried with them into the event, they certainly left feeling weightless after a long, fun and most importantly, cathartic experience.

Lightning in a Bottle lines up Glass Animals, Kaytranada, GRiZ & more to lead festival’s comeback in 2022

Lightning in a Bottle - 2022 lineup

Lightning in a Bottle //
Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area – Bakersfield, CA
May 25th-30th, 2022 //

Lightning in a Bottle is alive and well!

After being forced to cancel its 2020 edition more than 18 months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the “transformational festival” is returning to Kern County over Memorial Day weekend.

And for those who previously purchased tickets and have been waiting for an update on LIB’s future, you might be happy to know that The Do LaB has retained a handful of acts on the 2020 roster from headliners like Kaytranada and GRiZ to such undercard standouts as Purity Ring, Big Wild, Four Tet, Empress Of and Jon Hopkins across the fest’s three stages.

But LIB 2022 will also feature some new blood, starting right at the top of the poster with Glass Animals fresh off their performance at Outside Lands last weekend for Halloween. Joining the English psych-pop band as other LIB newcomers on the bill will be a pair of 27-year-old Brits in SG Lewis and Little Simz.

Other notable names on the initial lineup for LIB’s 15th installment include Chet Faker, Black Coffee, CloZee, Seth Troxler, Monolink, G Jones B2B Eprom, Maya Jane Coles, Goldlink, OPIUO, Chika, Mr. Carmack, Big Freedia, Dirtwire and more, including a Desert Hearts launch party with Lee Reynolds.

LIB, which has long been considered to be one of the country’s premier boutique festivals, has served as an excellent follow-up to Coachella over the last decade, often pulling some of the same electronic-leaning talent — whether it’s Bob Moses, Bonobo, Emancipator, RÜFÜS DU SOL or Tycho — who can be seen performing years prior at the famed two-weekend, three-day music festival in the desert.

GA and VIP passes to LIB can be purchased during the presale this Thursday, November 4th at 10 a.m. PT if you sign up here or for $395 and $775, respectively, plus fees here this Friday, November 5th at 10 a.m. PT with payment plans available. As always, promoting the ideals of sustainability, social cohesion, personal health and creative expression through art, yoga, workshops and speakers will remain a critical and prominent element of The Do LaB’s signature event.

Lightning in a Bottle - 2022 daily lineups

UPDATE (March 8th): LIB has shared its daily lineups for 2022, with Glass Animals leading the way on Friday, Kaytranada performing on Saturday and GRiZ closing out the fest on Sunday. Take a closer look at the list of artists scheduled for each day above.

Lightning in a Bottle 2022 - Compass lineup

UPDATE (March 15th): The lineup for the festival’s music, learning, and culture programming at the Compass that will feature speakers, workshops and more across seven immersive spaces has arrived. Among some of the discussions are Regenerating Soil with Microbes, Cryptocurrency: The Ownership Economy, Queering the Liminal, Technology of Prayer, Fire Adapted Communities: Building A Wildfire Resilient Future, Transforming Fulfilling Prophecies into Love and Resilience of Chamorro Food. See more details above.

Lightning in a Bottle 2022 - Friday

Lightning in a Bottle 2022 - Saturday

Lightning in a Bottle 2022 - Sunday

UPDATE (May 16th): Less than two weeks before LIB’s long-awaited return, the festival has released its set times — so you can sort out your conflicts for all three days in advance — with the music going until 4 a.m. for those who can hang that long. See more details above.

UPDATE (May 22nd): LIB has announced several changes to this year’s lineup as the days count down to the fest. Jhené Aiko will replace Little Simz, who had to cancel her performance. Chromonicci will also step in for Jon Casey while Moodlite and Dirtwire will fill in for Moontricks. Plus, don’t forget to check out the festival and camping maps below before you arrive at Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area.

Lightning in a Bottle 2022 - festival map

Lightning in a Bottle 2022 - camping map

Can’t wait until May? Tap back into our past coverage of LIB here.