With a roaring, ready-to-party sold-out crowd at Los Angeles’ BMO Stadium awaiting their headliner, Fuerza Regida opened their July 15 show with a video that briefly chronicled their music career that began six years ago and displayed footage of the band backstage. Like a boxer walking through a venue and into the ring, Fuerza Regida finally made their way onto the stage on a rising platform, ready for yet another knockout performance.
And knocked it out of the park (or stadium) Fuerza Regida did, delivering an electrifying, 2 ½-hour set to more than 22,000 fans and setting the record for the highest-attended Latin music show at the 5-year-old venue.
The achievement was personally significant to the five-member group because it happened not far from where it all began for them, in the mean streets of San Bernardino, 65 miles east of L.A. The record crowd was also a testament to the force of Mexican music as well as the rise of a new subgenre within Latin music that combines elements of trap, corridos, regional Mexican and urbano.
“We’re taking over the charts right now,” Jesus Ortiz Paz, the band’s leading vocalist, tells Pollstar. “Back then with Latin music, the only thing popping was reggaeton, and we thought, ‘Why can’t we be part of this?’ And now, there’s Mexicans popping in and doing everything.”
It was also a big win for tour producer Live Nation, which took a chance on the group and felt it was their time to shine at the popular L.A. venue. Fuerza Regida is already off to a blazing start to their 27-date “Otra Peda Tour,” selling out the opening show at Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, Texas, on July 7, and drawing large crowds in Nevada and Florida. But the show at BMO Stadium may very well end up being a personal and career highlight for the band, which rapidly ascended from playing at clubs to rivaling attendance records at the L.A. venue set by established acts such as The Killers and blink-182.
“We felt the energy,” Ortiz Paz says. “That was definitely one of our top shows, but it also felt like any other show. It’s always the same vibe. They get lit everywhere we go.”
They certainly do, and it’s hard not to join the fiesta when Ortiz Paz and his bandmates — Khrystian Ramos, Samuel Jaimez, José Garcia and Moises Lopez — themselves take part in the festivities with a small bar station on stage so they can drink along with their fans.
“We want to feel human,” Paz says. “We just try to feel as normal as we can. We walked out on stage like we walked out of work to the turn-up, the fiesta.”
It’s their way of connecting with their audience, creating an ambiance similar to that of a house party, or a family gathering at their tío’s house, and giving fans a taste of how they grew up. Ortiz Paz moved from Riverside to a rough neighborhood in San Bernardino at 14 when his parents lost their home, an experience that taught him to keep his feet on the ground. Though none of the members joined a gang, they were exposed to people living lives of crime, violence and ill-gotten wealth, and their music reflects that SoCal experience with an infectious sound deeply rooted in Mexican American culture. Fuerza Regida isn’t simply riding on the coattails of other acts. They’re sparking a new urban movement within Latin music and one that people are following as the band has amassed more than 23 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
“I see myself as one of the pioneers of all of this that’s going on now,” says Ortiz Paz. “I want to maintain my spot for as long as I’m here.”
One way of staying on top is to keep improving on the previous effort, and Fuerza Regida is already thinking ahead with new music and their next tour. Ortiz Paz exclusively told Pollstar that the band is at work on a new album that features “some nice collaborations,” and it will be out soon.
“That’s how we want to feel: like the goal was accomplished, and we did better than last year,” Ortiz Paz says. “We went from Crypto.com Arena to BMO, and hopefully next year we go to a bigger venue: to SoFi Stadium. It’s all about manifestation. That’s all I believe in.”