In Los Angeles, a city filled with immigrant experiences and multiculturalism, Latino-influenced rock took center stage at Fais Do-Do last Saturday night, showcasing bands from Southern California and Mexico.
The Mardi Gras-themed club was well lit; its mirrored disco ball showered the high stage with random bursts of light while mothers, fathers and siblings enjoyed a night of dance, drinks, laughter, fun and food on the spacious dance floor.
At first the atmosphere was serene, almost laid back lounge-like. The night began with drinks and conversation but the crowd slowly made its way towards the stage during performances by heavy rockers Solidmente and Mexicali's Zinema. Both groups, singing in Spanish and English, seemed comfortable in either language, laying down tunes rooted in the big hair rock era and the Rock en español of the '90s.
Wild Records' artists Don Juan Y Los Blanco's delivered a set full of energy with their upbeat '60s rockabilly sound. Driven by the Span-glish vocals from lead singers Don Juan and Becky Blanca, they brought everyone to their feet, with songs like "Baby Won't Dance" and "Ritmo," hits from their self-titled debut.
Named after the Mexican patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia lit up the dance floor next with familiar local tunes "Chicle" and "Klezmer," along with some new tracks, proving the band is more then ready to play Austin's upcoming South by Southwest music festival. Easily comfortable on either side of the border, their music is a mixture of Mariachi, Ranchera, Norteña, Cumbia, Bolero, Salsa, Rock, Blues and Jazz.
Miguel Ramirez, La Santa Cecilia's percussionist explained, "The environment our music creates is an open invitation to people of all walks of life, all ages, and cultures. We are proud of our heritage as Mexicans and Latinos raised in Los Angeles and our shows, artwork, and music reflect that in a big way."
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The evening's bonus act, La Cholita, the Latina Queen of Burlesque, was the surprise of the night, taking the stage prior to La Santa Cecilia's set. La Cholita captured the audience with her sensual teases, slow movements, colorful wardrobe and exotic performance to the late Sam Butera's "Street Scene."
Nights like these truly represent the eagerness Angelenos have for more culturally influenced music. A blessing that comes from living in this diverse metropolitan.