San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

Roberto Martinez in ConcertNo one knows why a San Felipe event will sudden coagulate on a sidewalk, without warning, announcement or a single broadside or handbill to titillate or warn the dormant spectator.

Some time within the last twelve hours a framework of tubular posts and beams magically leggo'ed themselves together (a feat that might interest some of the local condo project managers) and a vascular network of cables were laid and linked to a control panel with a large tribe of pinioned, hanging, leaning and standing speakers. It's a superstructure designed to outsource a sonic blast to pop off the hats of anyone within a 50 foot radius. All this to accommodate a group that calls themselves Roberto Martinez y los Regionales.

A converted bus, presumably Martinez's road-home, is parked next the the stage and beside that, a Tecate delivery truck flung open its rear door to reveal a staccato of red tins, stacked and rooted in a cold sweat, waiting their transport to the big coolers in front of the stage.

So it would seem something is in the air --an intimation of entertainment, lawless and clamorous. Spring Breakers are lingering while the Semana Santa crowd begins its slow trickle-to-torrent migration from outlying towns and cities. Veteran residents and business owners are locking doors, leaving town or simply staying off the streets. The town's IQ is about to achieve the status of a village idiot driving a bulldozer. Be warned that walking across a street, if you're not a survivor extraordinaire, can get you voted off the island. Permanently.

So if you plan to stay or are a visiting neophyte, be wary of the level of insanity Semana Santa can inspire in the celebratory breed. You'll need more eyes than a potato field in Idaho and as many ears as an acre of maiz in Nebraska to pull through with your health intact, if not your sanity.