Tales from ACL: Friends from Mexico find solace in music

Justin Jones

Months ago, Mario Sanchez, a resident of Puebla, Mexico, came across an ad on Instagram for Austin City Limits. When he realized opening day overlapped with one of his closest friends’ birthdays, Sanchez decided they were going.

Then, just a couple of weeks ago, their hometown was hit by a devastating earthquake, the epicenter of which was only 34 miles south.

“I felt it really, really hard,” Sanchez said. “My house is hurt a little bit but we’re good.”

Not to be dissuaded by the tragedy, Sanchez and his friend, Alfredo Payán, traveled all the way to Austin to celebrate his birthday and to lift their spirits by seeing many artists they love play live in one location.

“I’m looking forward to The Killers (and) The Gorillaz,” Payán said. “It’s at the same hour, so I’m not sure what I’m gonna do.”

Last night, the two saw Papadosio at The Mohawk Lounge, and Payán said they’re loving their time in the city.

“We didn’t hear about it,” Payán said. “Just found it on the street and it was awesome.”

Despite the issues the two of them have faced in the past month, the two friends said they’re glad they made the trek out to Texas’ biggest — and best — music festival.

“This is our first time (in Austin),” Payán said. “Our favorite part? Everything.”