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With record ticket sales and more bands than ever before, it’s hard to believe a week has already passed since Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers’ Circus Mexicus XXIV blew through Puerto Peñasco! What RCPM started just over 15 years ago in area cantinas is now the biggest music festival on our shores, drawing in a crowd of nearly 4,000 to the main concert alone. “We didn’t do the Google thing this year,” explains concert promoter Greg Ross, “but in 2014 we had people from 8 countries and 32 different states, so we’re sure once again people were here from all over the world. We definitely sold more tickets than ever, and had about 2900 people at Friday night’s main concert and over 3700 on Saturday.”
Things dove right into action last Thursday evening with tunes belted over the dunes from Banditos to JJ’s and back again, even making their way over to Beach Bum in the Old Port this year. Friday and Saturday night’s main stage on Sandy Beach lit up with a double-night performance of RCPM, opened up by The Jons, The Black Moods, and Shurman on the first night and The Strolling Bones, Dead Hot Workshop, and The Pistoleros on the second. By Sunday’s traditional “Mañanathon” back at JJ’s, under a crystal clear sky with the calm sea lapping just out the back gate, it was easy to see why so many Peacemaker fans who make their annual trek to Rocky Point each summer remarked this CM was one of the best yet!
Along with bands featured on the “Mexican Moonshine” main stage, the Americana southwest desert rock sounds enveloping CM XXIV ranged from the acoustic notes of Shawn Johnson to the funk groove of Banana Gun, rock-n-roll by Elvis Before Noon, the always eclectic Marc Norman belting them out with Ghetto Cowgirl, the Zubio Bros., Jason Boots, Random Karma, the truly awesome rock covers by Whiskey’s Quicker, and various reincarnations of Jim Dalton. Let’s not forget to mention the spontaneous jams that arose as different artists mixed it up along the Sea of Cortez, evidenced most clearly by Saturday’s sunset performance of The Strolling Bones – featuring PH Naffah and Nick Scropos (RCPM), Josh Kennedy (The Black Moods), Thomas Laufenberg (Pistoleros), and Marc Norman (Ghetto Cowgirl) – plus a drop in or two from the Shurman ranks.
As we always say, Circus Mexicus is much more than a music festival as it includes a beach soccer tournament (held this year in front of Princesa), and promotes charitable giving – sports equipment for the local Youth Sports Foundation, fundraising and in-kind gifts for Esperanza Children’s Home (which included the donation of more than $3,500 US this year to assist with summer electric bills), plus recycling funds from Friday and Saturday night revelry toward local organizations. Yes, while some in town may not make their way out to Sandy Beach for the “circus,” it is a true community event!
On Sunday, Roger got one of the best views at JJ’s, watching the action from the “bleacher seats” (or rather from a boat out on the bay) while The Black Moods wound up the weekend with another high energy performance! That night, tucked away into the folds of Cholla Bay, a group of peacemakers and amigos (and a taco cart) gathered for the 9th annual “not ready to go home yet” fiesta where the host perfectly summed it all up, “Thank you to Roger Clyne!! If he didn’t have a concert, I wouldn’t have this party!”
Gracias as always Roger, PH, Nick and Jim, and ¡hasta pronto!