In my opinion, music is a very good tool for setting moods. I also believe that "sense of place" goes a bit further than just a geographical location in this book. The songs “Hey Baby, ¿Qué Pasó?", and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" not only give us an idea of what kind of physical place the story is taking place in, but also dictate in a way how the characters interact with each other.
"Hey Baby, ¿Qué Pasó?" is the first song that is brought to our attention in the chapter, The Big Five-Four. Just the title of this song does a good job at setting up the mood and what is happening. With Nat just leaving the bathroom, she finds that Consuelo is dancing with sid in a very fun a lighthearted way. Listening to "Hey Baby, ¿Qué Pasó?" makes it very clear that fun and lighthearted is exactly what the author is trying to convey here. As we know, Cid has been interested in Consuelo for almost 10 years but Consuelo has no interest in him. For Consuelo, this is just a fun lighthearted dance with a friend.
The song "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," is the second song that is brought to our attention and i believe this song, in a way, sums up Consuelo's and Nat's fun nights out. I believe this song is important because it makes the reader realize that what Consuelo and Nat are doing is really just wasting their days and nights. We get a sense that they have been coming to this place for a long time and every night they come, they have drinks, dance with guys then go home. They never really meet anyone new and often end up dancing with the same people that they have no interest in. A good example of this is when Consuelo dances again with Cid, instead of find a new dance partner and meeting a new person. Conseulo and Nat are just wasting their days and nights.
As we have seen, these songs do more than just gives a visual on where the story is taking place. The songs actually set the mood and tone of how things are happening in the story and even sum up what is actually taking place at the time.