There’s busking and there’s sightseeing busing.
The popular Banda musicians of Tijuana’s Grupo Firme combined the two and boisterously made their way through Boyle Heights on Thursday ahead of their record-breaking Memorial Day weekend concert at SoFi Stadium atop an iconic red sightseeing bus.
Performing aboard the two-deck vehicle, the regional Mexican music septet visited the Mariachi Plaza and El Mercadito while in Boyle Heights — two cultural hubs in the predominantly Mexican L.A. neighborhood. Footage posted on the band’s official Instagram account featured the musicians singing along to “Ni el Dinero Ni Nada,” a cover of a ranchera by legendary Mexican singer-songwriter José Alfredo Jiménez.
Lead singer Eduin Caz posted several clips from the appearance, much to the delight of fans in the comments who begged the band’s ostentatious bus to commute through their respective communities.
The Latin Grammy-winning norteño group — known for the hits “El Tóxico,” “Ya Supérame” and 2021’s “Cada Quien” with Maluma — will play SoFi on Saturday. The band will become the first to perform at the Inglewood venue in two consecutive years and the first artists to play in the center of the stadium, known as the round, a representative for SoFi Sadium said. (Ed Sheeran will play in the round at the stadium on Sept. 23, but all previous concerts have been been set up in the stadium’s north end zone.)
The venue is expecting between 50,000 to 60,000 attendees Saturday, and tickets are still available.
“Grupo Firme is a reflection of our community. Their shows at SoFi Stadium represent our commitment to curating exceptional experiences that resonate with our diverse audiences,” said Adolfo Romero, the VP of programming and booking for SoFi Stadium, YouTube Theater and Hollywood Park. “Their passionate and electrifying performances embody an authentic connection with their fans and we wanted those lasting memories for fans to be at SoFi Stadium.”
The group also broke the stadium’s attendance record for selling the most tickets by a Latin band or artist. Last year, their Enfiestados y Amanecidos tour sold more than 100,000 tickets at SoFi over two shows. They previously set the record in downtown L.A.’s Crypto.com Arena for the largest number of consecutive presentations by a Latino group in the history of the venue, which was formerly known as the Staples Center.
The City of Inglewood on Tuesday also recognized the group during a city council meeting for “their remarkable musical contributions” and for breaking the SoFi Stadium record. The council also said that Grupo Firme was the first Mexican regional band to perform inside the council chambers at the award presentation.
“It is something unique. Honestly even more because they told us they’ve never brought a band to the city’s installations,” Caz told KABC-7. “We got here with the band. It’s something nice for us. More than anything because people love us here.”
Meanwhile, the Mexican rock band Maná is set to perform Saturday across the street at the Kia Forum in Inglewood.
Times staff writer Carlos De Loera and Tommy Calle contributed to this report.