Metalachi and the Go To Elevens
DiPiazza's Long Beach
Jan. 27, 2012
It's not every Saturday night when I walk into a venue and there's a band on stage playing Spinal Tap's uber-classic "Stonehenge." But it should be because that was pretty much the most awesome way to start an evening.
The group in question -- clad in stereotypical heavy metal mockery (ie large blonde wigs, tight pants and sans t-shirts) -- proceeded to play "Rock and Roll Creation" before finishing with "Sex Farm." I'll never call myself a smart man, but even I could figure out this was a Spinal Tap cover band. Later, I discovered they were called the Go To Elevens. From a musical standpoint, the foursome was damn near flawless in their portrayal of the world's bestest band ever, but I was wondering where the theatrics were. By that, I mean Spinal Tap is not only about music but rather an entire show, yet the Go To Elevens definitely got nowhere near 11 on the visual stimulation chart.
Where was mini Stonehenge descending from the rafters? Where were the little people to dance around said mini Stonehenge? Where was the triple bass explosion of "Big Bottom" or the exploding drummer? Where were the armadillos in their trousers? Hell, I would have settled for cucumbers, but I got nothing.
Like I said, the band sounded great and I wish I had known they were playing because I most certainly would have shown up on time if I did.
My favorite thing about headliners Metalachi is the fact that everything you need to know about their five-piece band (six if you included emcee Warren Moscow) is right there in the name. It's a mariachi band playing metal covers. Boom. That's it.
Allow me to preface my Metalachi review with this: My tolerance for joke bands is damn near zilch. I'm of the belief that most ideas for joke bands are funny, but lose their humor somewhere after the second verse of the first song (the exception being, of course, the Gayrilla Biscuits).
That said, I fucking loved Metalachi. Repeat: LOVED Metalachi.
I don't even know where to begin, but I do know that I highly recommend seeing this group. They opened with Europe's "The Final Countdown" and then went into "Ace of Spades" before bringing a girl on stage. Each of the five members poured a margarita ingredient into her drink and then she chugged it like the head drunk at a frat house.
The band introduced themselves midway through the set and I laughed out loud during the introductions when they announced guitarist Juan Jovi. But their names are irrelevant because these dudes can legitimately play. Violin player Maxilimian "Dirty" Sanchez has six-pack abs (bastard) and shreds that mofo like a violin has never been shred before while bassist Poncho Rockafeller (who plays one of those sideways-leaning mariachi style basses) is heavy when need be and smooth when the song calls for subtlety. Juan Jovi was also talented and singer Vega de la Rockha can actually hit those notes, but it's his intentional-yet-not-over-the-top put-on mispronounciations that got the crowd cheering.
Then there's the trumpet player El Cucuy, who was by far my favorite member. When he's not blowing his horn, this dude is smiling like he's having a blast and does this dance in which he moves his head side to side with his arms out. It reminds me of a skeleton, which have something to do with the fact that he's dressed like a freakin' skeleton. Whatever it is, he's fun to watch.
Each member of the group wears an oversized sombrero with flashing lights and has some sort of themed outfit and it's obvious the band has not only taken its time transcribing metal favorites into mariachi music, but has also put forth some effort into the stage show as well. I find myself wondering why I even noticed either of these because with most joke bands, once a song is finished, all I'm thinking is, "Please God. Tell me this is the last one." But with Metalachi, I was genuinely interested to know what song was next. Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box" was done really well. So was "Killing in the Name of" by Rage Against the Machine. That said, "Crazy Train" was pretty fucking awesome and by far the best song of the set.
I'm not on the Metalachi payroll (although I should be), so I have no reason to lie when I say that I highly, highly recommend everyone see this group. It's a much more fun and entertaining show that a traditional heavy metal cover band and their fans look -- and more importantly, smell -- much better than a bunch of long-haired hessians.
Critical bias: I'm a sucker for any type of music that gets Latinas dancing.
The crowd: I've seen plenty of shows at diPiazza and other than Banyan, none has ever had a crowd rush to the stage like Metalachi. The floor was so jam-packed I couldn't get close to take a picture.
Overheard in the crowd: When one man was asked what he wanted to drink, he yelled, "Tequila!"
Random notebook dump: Speaking of dump, it should be noted that I had a shit-ton of fun at this show, even though I was a few hours away from one of the longest nights of my life. Let's just say my stomach and I were not on speaking terms and I knew a massive fight was a'brewin'. And I still enjoyed myself.
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The Final Countdown
Ace of Spades
Sweet Child O' Mine
Rainbow in the Dark
Man in the Box
Master of Puppets
Nothing Else Matters
Killing in the Name of
Livin' on a Prayer