SPLENDOR OF THE ASS

Photo by Matt OttoLOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES
JC FANDANGO, ANAHEIM
THURSDAY, APRIL 14

Everyone who visited JC Fandango on April 14 demanded that headliners Los Amigos Invisibles consummate a tease the group let linger last summer. That's when the Venezuelan disco salsa-funk sextet (emphasis on the prefix) played but three songs at the Woodstock '99 of rock en español, the Queen Mary's Rock el Boat. The abbreviated LBC concert wasn't Los Amigos' fault—inept time management by the concert's pendejopromoters caused the settus interruptus. Nevertheless, Los Amigos fans spent the past year frustrated, and those who packed Anaheim's Latin music cathedral demanded the proverbial one-hour pounding session to satiate their aural desires.

And pound Los Amigos did—for two hours, even. Dave Barry once wrote that disco was nothing more than one 20,000-minute song, and that about sums up the Los Amigos style. They ratcheted the tempo from the romantic (the swooning "Si Estuvieras Aquí") to the raunchy—who wouldn't want to drop to the floor on all fours after listening to "Ponerte en Cuatro"? Nuyorican-style salsa segued into funkadelic B-sides segued into Eurotrash ode to neighbors segued into a mash of the hypermerengue "El Baile del Sobón" with a throbbing Duran Duran snippet. Los Amigos paused for breath maybe two times throughout the night—maybe there was another one, but I lost myself for about 45 minutes in the eternal jiggle of a skinny morenita.

Los Amigos Invisibles rewarded their fans and set the template for what a great concert should contain. It was multiracial—many gabachosappeared, thanks to a cross-promotion with KCRW-FM 89.9. The beautiful people showed up in all their tats-sporting, chest-highlighting glory and were benevolent enough to grant trolls some splendor of the ass during an extended version of "El Disco Anal." And the band was at their geeky, talented, sexy best. The faces of metronomic bassist José Rafael Torres and keyboardist Armando Figueredo twitched and grimaced as if they were whacking through a segment of Gag Factor V; guitarist José Luís Pardo tweaked and tickled notes of every distortion, arpeggio and scratch from his ever-flailing guitar. But the ballast for Los Amigos remains lead singer Julio Briceño. Last year, he unleashed a stream of insults at Rock el Boat promoters before Los Amigos' final song; tonight, he contented himself with monkey screeches, a cute falsetto on the Dazz Band-esque "Superfucker" and constant leers zeroed in on the honeys gyrating mere feet from his swiveling crotch. Satiated, the crowd sighed and bumped culossome more.

 
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