May 5, 2011
House of Blues Anaheim
Can anyone think of a better way to celebrate Cinco De Mayo than listening to latino-fied punk-rock in Orange County? It's a phenomena that has to be experienced at least once in life. Full-fledged bro's shrilling grito's as loud as Chente himself, singing along in perfect Spanglish to latino renditions of classics like “Big Hyna's” (their homage to the G.B.H classic, “Big Women”). Oh yes, leave it to the power of Manic Hispanic to turn everyone Mexican for a night, all of a sudden!
I tried to put aside the fact that they were playing in Downtown Disney, but since it was my first time there I went with an open mind. “There is going to be a fight sometime tonight, I'm just letting you know,” warned a friend who was not new to the OC party scene.
Inside the H.O.B., greased-out fans waited in suspense as the lights dimmed and the honky-tonk lyrics “Hey baby, que paso? I thought I was your only vato!” started playing by The Texas Tornadoes. Then, there they were…arms crossed tight, loks glaring and bandanas in perfect crease. They were in a traditional “role call” pose of course.
Singer Mike Gaborno (Also of Cadillac Tramps) immediately let the East L.A. accent fly as they opened up with “Beef Chorizo!”, their extra-spicy version of Fear's “Beef Bologna.” It was only appropriate though, they all took to nutchecking each other on stage as joyfully as my friends and I do in our drunken (and not) free-time. Steve Soto also got down on six-strings just as well as well as he did on four strings (also original bassist for The Adolescents), not to mention laying some sweet-ass pipes down when it was his turn to take the main vocals for “I Turned Into La Llorona” (“I Turned into a Martian” by Misfits).
In between songs, Gaborno seemed to be infatuated with the subject of Justin Beiber, singing “baby, baby, baby” and making the crowd sing-along to it several times through out the set. My favorite performances of the night probably had to be “Mas Chingones” (in honor of “True Believers” by Bouncing Souls), one of their newer songs I think. And of course, “My Homeboy is a Joto” (D.I's “Johnnie's Got A Problem”) in which Gaborno folded up his shirt into his collar and walked onstage with his ass sticking out.
By the end of the night, all these guys got down in a way only true veteranos of the scene could, with this unique kind of modesty and nonchalance in their finesse through the songs. Most of importantly of all though, they were all smiling and having a good time on stage themselves just as much as their loyal fans were down in the pit…”We are brown, down and love to come to this town” said a breathless Gaborno at the end of their set.
Critics Bias: I crowd-surfed for the first time in three years! FYSP!
The Crowd: BROS! And probably more bros with hot latina girlfriends. Also, a good number of older greasers.
Overheard In The Crowd: “Hayyyyyyy Pappiiiiiiiii!”
Random Notebook Dump: “You can hear their identity crisis in their gritos…”
Homeboy is A Joto
Pay To Come
21st Century Vato Loco
I Turned Into La Llorona
Uncle Chatos Garden
I'm Just A Cholo
Mommies Lil' Cholo
Chingasos To The Landlord
God Save The Queen
I Want To Be A Cholo
Before The Next Teardrop Falls