If the answer to the question in the headline is yes, then you’re absolutely in tune and “en la onda” with one of Mexico’s hottest pop stars on the planet, yes, that would be Gloria Treviño, better known as Gloria Trevi.
I recently saw her at the Nokia Theater as a part of the LéaLA book expo in Downtown Los Angeles; I’m still missing the connection between these two, but I guess it was part of a cultural exchange with the Fundación Universidad de Guadalajara and the Feria del Libro, which included other cultural components, in this case, popular music.
Gloria Trevi, the scandalous and iconic former fugitive, later acquitted of all charges super pop diva phenomenon that made headlines the world over, proved once again, as she always has, that despite her sordid past, and let’s just leave it there, in the past, she is first and foremost an amazing and talented entertainer. She not only delivers the goods, she serves them to her audience in a platinum platter with diamond encrusted silverware ready to be devoured by her adoring legion of fans, who by the way, never for an instant left her side during those stormy years. If scandal is King in entertainment media, then redemption must be God!
As I walked into the venue, the opening music was none other than “Gloria” by Laura Branigan, a perfectly fitting track for a woman who went to hell and back to restore her dignity, integrity and her image as a human being and later as an artist.
I had seen Gloria not too long after she made her comeback to the stage, following the exoneration and release of all charges and her time served in the Chihuahua State Penitentiary, and at that time, I remember she was pregnant. I took my friend Steven, a 2nd generation Latino from Kansas, who had heard about “La Trevi” from the many news articles in mainstream media, but had never seen her perform, and neither had I for that matter. So off we went to see this rare and exotic beast that was being exhibited around the world stages as some kind of freak show act in a wacky circus extravaganza.
I will never forget my friend Steven’s expression and state of astonishment, which probably was the same state I was in when we saw Gloria Trevi for the first time in LA after her release. She was indeed a monster on that stage, tearing it up and pouring her soul and her heart to her adoring fans, with the rage of an unwavering tornado spreading tears of joy, gratitude and love for her fans and the trade that she so much loves, music!
Seeing her on stage at Nokia all these years later, still reminded me of that moment and Steven’s reaction, saying how much Gloria reminded him of a raw Janis Joplin, and a strange amalgamation between Cindy Lauper, Madonna and Deborah Harry all wrapped into one perfect essential pop diva. I had to agree with him.
You see, what separates the Lionesses from your regular stray, and run of the mill pop pussy cats is the innate ability to capture, engage and connect with your audience, a gift that only great performers can master. And Gloria does exactly that, much like Maná. They both touch very sensitive cultural and nostalgic fabrics and fibers, not only of the Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in the US, but also that of the myriad Latin Americans who in that spirit of cultural connectivity, also find a collective sigh of understanding and identification that makes any Latino’s heart beat at the rhythm of any Latin sound, whether it’s Bachata, Mariachi, Salsa, Merengue, Mambo, Cumbia, Vallenato, Reggaetón, Samba, Bossa Nova, or even Flamenco.
Gloria Trevi is not only iconic because of her stage persona, but like Selena, Celia Cruz and many of the stars in the Pantheon of Latin music idols, she is an artist who touches the ground firmly and is acutely aware of her humanity and the significance of her audience. Artists like these are unique idols, because they touch us beyond the sound of a music note, they move our being because we see them as one of us, no matter how far or how deep they appear to be in the stratosphere of fame and celebrity.
Gloria rocked at the Nokia and as God as my witness I want to see her over and over again, because unlike the Branigan lyrics, I don’t think she’s fallin’ and from what I could tell, everybody still wants her and everybody is still callin…calling GLORIA!!!