“Todos Los Angeles,” screams Chris Merlin, singer of Chencha Berrinches, and the large crowd of locals begin clapping their hands in unison. These locals helped sell out the 6th annual of Ska Wars, which was held at the Plaza de la Raza on Saturday February 8th.
Thirty bands played on one of two stages for hundreds of people, the majority of who were local Latino youth. Most bands originated from the Los Angeles area and have shaped Ska music into a culture that most Latino youth embrace.
This annual event provides a safe space where Latino youth can dance and listen to Ska music from bands that come from communities similar to their own. “This (music) is coming out of my city. This is coming out of my county… (Ska Wars is) a whole new space closer to home,” says Hector Rivera, bassist for Mafia Rusa.
Ska Wars places entertainment at the center of community building. Through a shared badass culture and similar admiration for these cool bands and music, locals can come together in one space. “That’s the basic idea between any concert really, just keep people united and having fun, all in one place,” says Nicolas Curiel, frontman of Profesor Galactico.
Many of these bands began their careers playing in backyard shows. Now, they continue to influence people on the main stage. Through their music, people have come together as a community to participate in a shared culture.
Ska Wars is a great event to skank your heart out, and is a perfect stress reliever without any repercussions for hitting someone in the face. The music is on point and the people are cool. Ska Wars continues to be a great event for the Ska scene in Los Angeles.