15 years Later: Top Grupo Fantasma Shows

Grupo Fantasma founding members Beto Martínez (left) and Greg González. Photo by Nancy Flores/American-Statesman
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Grupo Fantasma founding members Beto Martínez (left) and Greg González. Photo by Nancy Flores/American-Statesman

Grupo Fantasma is back with their fifth studio album, "Problemas," which was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos. The Grammy award-winning band celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

Do you have a favorite Grupo Fantasma show? It’s been 15 years since the Grammy award-winning band launched, and the Latin funk kings are celebrating with an album release party and anniversary shindig at 7 p.m. tonight (Nov. 12) at the Mohawk. Their originally scheduled pachanga last month was postponed because of severe Austin weather, but previously purchased tickets will be accepted.

In honor of their quinceañera, I recently chatted with Grupo Fantasma founding members Beto Martínez and Greg González about the evolution of the band and their fifth studio album, “Problemas,” which was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos.

As we went down memory lane, Martínez and González also recalled their personal favorite Grupo Fantasma shows — the ones where they each felt like they had arrived. These memorable moments didn’t make it into our previous Austin360 article, so we’re sharing them now as the band celebrates 15 years together.

Grupo Fantasma founding members Beto Martínez (left) and Greg González. Photo by Nancy Flores/American-Statesman

Grupo Fantasma founding members Beto Martínez (left) and Greg González. Photo by Nancy Flores/American-Statesman

Here’s what the guys had to say:

“There have been a lot of great shows, but probably the most memorable for me has been playing the Golden Globes party with Prince. Of all the shows we’ve played, that one had pure celebrities in the audience jamming with Prince and all these stellar artists like Mary J. Blige and Talib Kweli. All these great artists, like Marc Anthony, came and sat in. It was an audience of A-listers, and it really felt like we had arrived at that moment. It was the most glitzy, glamorous show we had ever had playing in Beverly Hills for the illuminati of Hollywood fame.”

— Greg González

While the Golden Globes party was definitely memorable for Martínez as well, he recalls another show in 2008 that was particularly special to him.

“Shortly after (the Golden Globes party) we did Bonnaroo for the first time. Bonnaroo was our first really big festival. And we played at one of the big tents for probably 5,000 people. It was one of the first biggest shows we’d played that (featured) just us. It wasn’t us with Prince. It was us. And those fans were there freaking out for us.”

— Beto Martínez

What’s your favorite Grupo Fantasma moment? Share it with us in the comments below, and check out the playlist we’ve created for your hip-shaking pleasure.

 


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