What Prayers’ Rafa Reyes thought was “legit” ended in theft.
“We are mostly a San Diego/L.A./New York band,” says Rafa Reyes, half of cholo goth duo Prayers. The release of their Young Gods album took them on a 14-city, three-week tour, which ended September 11 at Chicago’s Riot Festival. Each day of the three-day fest drew about 45,000. “I was amazed how many people knew our lyrics,” Rafa says of their first Chicago show. “I jumped into the crowd at the end of the set.”
...and the cholo-goth life
Security was tight. “Just to get inside you had to go show documented proof you were supposed to be there,” Reyes tells the Reader. “We said, ‘Wow, this place is legit.’ They had a security guard stand by our van the whole time.”
But when the band went back to their hotel that night, they discovered video equipment had been jacked from their van before they left the festival.
Oxnard-based videographer Jordan Rios said he lost a laptop, his camera, three lenses, and various lights. He says the uninsured loss, approximately $3000, was not the worst part. “I did a Go-fund me to get my equipment back. To be honest, I have enough money to get new equipment now. But I quit my job to go on tour with them to make a documentary. I got the whole tour. That [footage] is gone forever.... We went back the next day to talk to them. Come to find out the same security guard who watched our van didn’t show up for work [on Saturday].”
Rios says there was no police report filed. “I just got tired of the bullshit and left.... We spoke to a cop who happened to be there. He asked us if we filed a police report. He said if we did they wouldn’t get around to it for a month later. When we told him we were from California he laughed and told us we were pretty much fucked.”
- Thursday, October 29, 2015, 8 p.m.
3090 Polk Avenue,
Prayers tour manager Steve Martinez remembers that security guard stationed by their van. “He was there smoking weed the whole time with his little homies.” He said he saw staffers for his security company getting hired the day of the event. “They were hiring people off the streets of Chicago that day for their security force. They were hiring tweakers, biker gangs, strippers, right off the street.”
Prayers manager Nick Oehlers says he did not know yet how the matter would be resolved. “It had to be an inside job,” says Reyes. “Hopefully they can make this thing right. This shouldn’t happen.”
The Prayers appear October 29 at the Irenic.