Fuerza Regida’s BMO Stadium show was a night of a thousand ‘pedas’

Fuerza Regida at BMO Stadium.
Fuerza Regida at BMO Stadium on Saturday.
(Photos by Lorena Endara / For De Los )
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“Aye, who’s dog is that?”

It was an important question posed by a woman waiting at a crosswalk outside BMO Stadium on Saturday night. In a sea of people rocking skirts the size of dinner napkins and gold chains that could haul a broken-down Escalade, there was a lone German shepard wandering the street. Was it searching for its owner or, like the hundreds of people it was trotting past, waiting to descend into the maximum pura peda ensuing inside L.A. Football Club’s home turf, where Mexican banda Fuerza Regida was getting ready to perform?

Smiling, cowboy hat-wearing Fuerza Regida fans at BMO Stadium.
Fuerza Regida fans at BMO Stadium on Saturday. “I like the artist and it was a birthday gift,” said Reyna, 25, left, with Alissa, 26, both of L.A.
(Lorena Endara)

Música regional Mexicana has exploded in popularity the last few years — Peso Pluma, Grupo Frontera, Natanael Cano and Eslabón Armado (the latter was playing the same night at Arena) have been blowing up the airwaves, music streamers and TikTok.

Fuerza Regida is right there with them. Later that night, during the band’s set, Fuerza Regida’s electrifying frontman Jesús Ortiz Paz, known as JOP, would look out into the crowd and boldly let it be known who’s running things. “Los Mexicanos ahorita somos número uno,” he proclaimed. “Now, we poppin’ in this mother f—!”


Members of the band, including lead singer JOP were detained by LAPD after their show at BMO Stadium on Sunday morning

July 16, 2023

The concert was part of Fuerza Regida’s Otra Peda tour, so the requirement to get at least nominally tore up seemed pretty clearly stated. Naturally, pre-gaming was a must for many concertgoers, including Hector Aguilar.

“Aye, who wants to finish this?” he hollered at the crowd by the gate. The 27-year-old foreman held up the last remnants of a bottle of Don Julio. Aguilar and his friends were eager to get inside and continue pouring gas on the good time, but the bottle remained unfinished.

“Pour it down,” I said. And that’s how a generous shot of tequila landed in my bra. “Pour it in her mouth, not in her clothes,” shouted a woman in their group, but it was too late. I’d be stinking for the rest of the night.

A man sings into a microphone.
Fuerza Regida at BMO Stadium on Saturday.
(Lorena Endara)

Lucy Mendez, a dental assistant, has been a fan for years. There was no way she was going to miss the concert.

“My tickets, I got them since they first came out,” she said. “I wasn’t gonna be like, ‘Oh, it’s sold out and I didn’t get a ticket.’ No. I got my tickets set.”


She had no idea Eslabón Armado was playing that night too. “I would’ve loved for Eslabón to be here with them,” she said.

The stadium was packed and humming with energy. Arch support was nonexistent as the girlies strutted and swiveled in heels so high their feet looked like the Leaning Tower of Paisa. I looked upon those buchonas in their body-con dresses, crystal-encrusted cowboy boots, strappy heels and sparkly stilettos with admiration. I’ve squeezed myself into enough shapewear and platforms to know that discomfort will morph into throbbing pain. Until then, they were looking hot and ready to dance the moment Fuerza Regida hit the stage.

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July 17, 2023

Erika H., a 30-year-old event planner, was at the show with her partner, Jose, or HomicideZ06, as he said he’s known. “It’s not as bad as it sounds,” the self-described real estate mogul and Lamborghini fanatic (he owns two) assured me.

Erika, who had squeezed into a skin-tight black dress with multiple cutouts across the chest, was “just here to have a good time, go out, leave the kids at home, maybe go backstage for a little bit.”

“Now he’s getting so big,” HomicideZ06 said of JOP. “Before, we were able to get onstage. I don’t know about now. But we’re here to support. We’ve seen his journey, and it’s been so sick. We love his music. We just want to keep being a part of it.”

Happy Fuerza Regida fans at BMO Stadium.
Fuerza Regida fans at BMO Stadium on Saturday. “Muchas canciones de Fuerza Regida no son solo narcocorridos. Es mas de la juventud y de nuestros tiempos. No identifica nuestra personalidad y la era en que estamos,” said Cindy Hernandez, 31, with Hugo Sanchez, 37, of Paramount.
(Lorena Endara)

That journey is definitely part of JOP’s appeal. Six years ago, he was a barber in South Central — until he auditioned to play bass for the already-formed group, which had a small hit with a cover of Chayín Rubio’s “Uno Personal.” Band members asked him to sing, and after dropping a few bars, he landed the main gig. The rest, as they say, is history. That history, in fact, was shown on the big screen in a video montage before the band hit the stage.

Vanessa Estrada traveled from Bakersfield to see the band with her boyfriend, David Gonzalez, for their nine-month anniversary. It’s what she wanted.

”She kept bugging me,” laughed Gonzalez. “Like, ‘Babe, babe, let’s go.’” In truth, Fuerza Regida is their favorite group.

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July 17, 2023

“They’re from L.A., but not only that, they’re very humble,” said Estrada. “You can relate to them, you know. They got money, but they relate to the people.”

Throughout the concert, JOP himself marveled at where his life is now. “No me la creo, la neta,” he said into the mic. It’s that history that speaks to many of his fans, who were there ready to party alongside JOP. “We’re here to get f— up,” said Gonzalez, who was already six drinks in before the band even started. Estrada was at four.

As soon as the opening notes blared, fans ran toward their seats. The iPhones came out and didn’t see the inside of a pocket or purse for three hours. Dudes began to livestream as women filmed themselves singing along with their squad. Couples were pressed tightly against each other while dancing to “Lo Estoy Pensando.”


As the music, flames and fireworks continued to fill the smoke-thickened night sky, the heels began to come off. By 10:45 p.m., the vibe had fully shifted into peda mode. A barefoot woman was grinding against her man in front of the rotisserie chicken stand, and I was asked to dance by an extremely drunk dude named Jesus, who informed me that I was a “good girl.”

A Fuerza Regida fan represents her city at BMO Stadium.
Fuerza Regida fan Cindy from L.A., at BMO Stadium on Saturday.
(Lorena Endara)

The thing about being Mexican is that you grow an intuitive sense for when things are about to descend into chaos. You party at enough baptisms that go until 4 a.m. and you learn to see the signs. As soon as I saw men in Versace satin shirts being held back by their friends and girlfriends, I knew it was time. I walked out of the stadium to shirtless guys and their shoeless dates, to the savory smell of hot dogs grilling on a cart, just missing the fights that did, in fact, go down.

Later that night, JOP, Chino Pacas and members of the Calle 24 band were briefly detained outside an after-party in Hollywood. Videos of the incident spread across TikTok and Instagram, but even so, it didn’t sour the night.

The fights are probably now stories that will be told for years. Just another night, another peda.

Zaragoza is a television writer and journalist covering culture and identity. Her work has appeared in Vice, NPR, O Magazine and Rolling Stone, and she’s written on the series “Primo” and “Lopez v. Lopez.” She will write weekly for De Los.