“We felt that we left in a premature way,” says bassist Moises Baqueiro aka Vira Lata. “We made the decision on a Friday, two days before Tarfest.” Many fans came to the free outdoor show on October 7th, 2007 with a mixture of disbelief, wondering if their favorite band was really calling it quits.
Los Abandoned formed in 2002 and spent the next five years crafting songs, perfecting their onstage personas and more importantly building an audience base. The effort culminated in being signed with Neil Young's Vapor Records and the subsequent release of 2006's Mix Tape, their first and only full-length album.
The possibility of reuniting to do things in a way that felt right always loomed, seeing how abruptly the band's future unraveled. “We were offered to do a benefit show for Chile,” Baqueiro revealed in the wake of the massive earthquake that devastated Díaz's homeland a year ago, “But in the end that show never took place.”
The opportunity arose again in April when Mucho Music promoter Ricky Garay was setting in motion the move of his Latin Alternative bookings from downtown Los Angeles' La Cita bar to the Echoplex in Echo Park. “He came up with the idea and there's no person better to do this,” Baqueiro vouches. I spilled the frijoles that the project was signed off on with a Heard Mentality post back on Cinco de Mayo, but when exactly it was actually going to go down was still left as a mystery.
After months of speculation and waiting, the concert date for Los Abandoned's one-time-only return to the stage has finally been released today! The bilingual good times Latin Alternative act will perform as part of a special night at the Echoplex on October 28th. The reunion show is being billed as a “resurrection” organized just ahead of Día de los Muertos.
It will be all Los Abandoned all night with no other bands accompanying them on the lineup. Instead, DJs Frank Leopold, Pitxu, Polo and Santi will spin Latin Alternative classics, 80's music, cumbias and more to keep the party going into the early morning hours. “Quite possibly, this is one of my proudest achievements,” Garay says. “Since we started Mucho Musica, we've dreamed of this since the beginning, and now it's happening.”
The show is still two months away, but Vira Lata, Lady P, guitarist Don Verde and drummer Dulce Reyes are getting together for their first rehearsal next week. “I'm really excited as I miss all the music I played with Los Abandoned,” Baqueiro lets on. “Having the chance to re-create it is great!” The Echoplex is a most fitting venue for the reunion show. Los Abandoned started their scene at the Echo then disbanded just as the Echoplex below it was completed and opened. For them, it's a chance to do it all over at a space they never had the chance to make their own.
But it's more than just about a venue. In the end, it is all about the fans that Baqueiro has considered to have been like a family. “In retrospect, Los Abandoned was more than just a band,” he adds. “We were the voice of second generation Latinos that lived their lives biculturally.”
Los Abandoned reunites Oct. 28 at the Echoplex, 1822 w. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, 90026; www.attheecho.com, 9 p.m. $15. 18+