January 18, 2005



Opening for R.E.M. was pressure in itself, says deSol guitarist Soto. Doing so in Mexico, which was unfamiliar ground for the Latin-rock band from Asbury Park, N.J., only intensified the task at hand.

Early last December, Soto and his band mates played for 14,000-plus fans at the Sports Palace in Mexico City, not knowing what to expect from the crowd. To quote John Lennon, deSol passed the audition -- with flying colors.

Soto: "[The whole thing] was just an incredible experience. It was a little scary, a little daunting, because the Mexican audience doesn't really know us. And here we are opening for R.E.M., one of the hugest acts in the world. And the Mexican audiences can be tough . . . so we had all of these different emotions.

"We were in our dressing room, and [R.E.M.'s] Michael Stipe came in and wished us good luck. He was so gracious, and he seemed so humble -- he was just amazing. It really meant a lot to us.

"We went out there and did our show, and we were so pumped up. We did great. We got a good response from the crowd. It was better than I think anyone imagined it would turn out to be.

"What was amazing to me was in a lot of the songs, we would build up toward the end, and there would be this crescendo of applause before the song even ended, like [the crowd] kind of sensed where we were going and when it was going to finish and climax. I really was amazed by that. I have a lot of respect for that audience because they really seem to know their stuff. It gave me a feeling like they were communicating with us, like they were anticipating where we were going. I think at that point we were like, 'You know, these guys like us.' "

deSol's self-titled debut album for Curb Records is due in stores nationwide in April. The official deSol Web site is www.desolmusic.com. The band's concert itinerary for 2005 includes dates in New York (Jan. 20), Boston (Jan. 22), Baltimore (Feb. 9) and Atlanta (Feb. 16).

-- By Chris M. Junior

Posted by medleyville at January 18, 2005 04:47 PM