Robert Rodriguez and Chingon "Tells the Whole Story of El Rey" in "Mestizo City"

Photo by Jacob Katel
It's 3:30 on Saturday afternoon in Miami's Design District. A live rendition of "Canción del Mariachi" drowns out the beep, beep, beep of delivery trucks backing into alleyways behind contemporary furniture stores and restaurants that Crossfade can only afford when someone else is paying.

"Soy un hombre muy honrado, que me gusta lo mejor" Chingón lead vocalist Alex Ruiz sings. "Las mujeres no me faltan, ni el dinero, ni el amor."

Midway through the song, guitarist and Desperado director Robert Rodriguez sets his guitar on a stand, trots down the side-stage stairs, and wanders over to the center of the empty lot to make sure that the sounds levels are up to par.

He's clearly very hands on.

See also:
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-Robert Rodriguez's Band, Chingon, Playing Henry Muñoz's "Mestizo City" During Basel

Photo by Jacob Katel

In less than six hours, several hundred people will fill the outdoor space for an inspiring, audio-visual retrospective of Rodriguez's remarkable 20-year career.

"It's a really cool show," Rodriguez says. "We're playing all the movie songs. And it tells the whole story of El Rey, starting from El Mariachi to Desperado, Dusk Till Dawn, Machete, and how we had to create our own Latin stars to create a presence in Hollywood."

For example, Salma Hayek.

Photo by Jacob Katel

"While we play each movie song, you'll see footage from that movie behind us in sync," Rodriguez explains. "So when we play 'After Dark,' Salma comes out and does the snake dance. If you love music and you love music, no one else can do this show because we have 20 years of movies to support this kind of music and that kind of idea. I think people are going to get a kick out of it."

They did.

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