“We’ve waited 2 years, and traveled 3000 miles, to be able to say these 8 words,” an excited voice rang out from the Circus Mexicus main stage gracing the sand lot behind Banditos in Rocky Point on Saturday, June 12th. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.”
Announcing the band from the main stage on Saturday was one of the top prizes in the annual RCPM Shake Raffle ‘n Roll, with the once in a lifetime opportunity going to a family from New Hampshire…or was it Vermont? While most of the sun kissed, tequila touting, singing-along-to every-note Peacemaker crowd had traveled fewer miles to get to this spot where the desert rolls up to the Sea of Cortez, all had been anxiously waiting just as long to see Roger, PH, Nick, and Jim again LIVE in MÉXICO! It was a homecoming, and didn’t miss a beat.
Following 2020’s abrupt impact on live music across the world, and the traditional trek to Rocky Point for Circus Mexicus, this year’s RCPM music festival spread its good spirits and positive vibrations across 5 …yes, count that F I V E days…more than a dozen stages… and showcasing music from more than 20 bands. New venues stretching from the Old Port to the Mirador and from Sandy Beach to Cholla Bay were brought in, while many familiar and several new CM faces graced our sandy beaches and favorite taco dives.
Throughout the festivus eternus, Peacemaker fans rubbed elbows with the likes of Cody Canada, “one of the most respected US touring musicians” as it were, the slender legged yet sturdy rock chords of Tuk Smith & the Reckless Hearts, hot southwestern groove of CM regulars The Jons, Americana rock country from DL Marble, the Cole Trains, and the passionate rock voices from the Sara Robinson Band and CM alum Darci Carlson (yes, more women artists por favor), to name just a few.
On the main stage, the Black Bottom Lighters warmed things up on Friday as the sun went down, before Authority Zero took over as a sliver of a moon dotted the sky, making way for the welcome home set of RCPM. On Saturday, Jeff Crosby & the Refugees got the fiesta started on the main stage, followed by Cody Canada and the Departed, and the second no-repeat (well, except for one here or there) set of RCPM. Let’s not forget, from the Banditos stage to early morning wake-up calls, CM newcomer Jesse Valenzuela of Gin Blossoms soothed hearts and hangovers as the eager crowd swayed and sang along. Hey, jealousy?
CM event promoter Greg Ross detailed there were an estimated 3000 people at this year’s Circus Mexicus. He added there was an overwhelming response to this year’s raffle, with several thousand dollars raised to go toward the community of Puerto Peñasco. Ross particularly highlighted the hand-painted cow skull gifted by Clyne Ranch to Laurie Burns, which was the only silent auction item.
Much as the raffle, the overall response and feel to Circus Mexicus 2021 was overwhelming. The sense of being part of something that so many had missed out on last year was palpable. While we hadn’t all traveled 3000 miles to get to Puerto Peñasco, we had each forged a path through a strange year to make our way back to hear RCPM remind us to pace ourselves and come alive.