The Regent Theater
December 3, 2014
After seven years without releasing a studio album, Mexican alternative rockers Molotov returned this year with a new CD titled Agua Maldita. The band kicked off their U.S. tour with a performance right here in Los Angeles at the Regent Theater in downtown.
“Puto, puto, puto,” chanted the crowd, calling out the name of one of the band's most famous singles (Spanish for "man-whore") as the anticipation built for Molotov to take the stage.
The band members walked over to their instruments and wasted no time tearing into a cut off their album Dance and Dense Denso.
“Pinches escandalosos. No mamen,” joked Tito Fuentes, Molotov’s lead guitarist. It’s the traditional Mexican banter that the band has come to be known for. It roughly translates to, "Keep it down, you rowdy show-offs."
From the beginning of their musical career, Molotov have consistently been a source of controversy. Whether it be for their unapologetic lyrics, explicit artwork or denouncement of the government, it seems that someone always has a problem with the band.
Molotov’s fan base has thrived off the controversy. The band’s music represents a form of counter-culture for Latin youths disillusioned by society and the world at large. Their lyrics deal with serious issues like immigration and racism, but at the same time manage to remain playful and catchy.
See also: Our Molotov photo gallery
Molotov’s peak arguably came with the release of their 2003 Latin Grammy-winning single "Frijolero" off Dance and Dense Denso. The song remains the band’s biggest hit to date.
Following the success of "Frijolero," Molotov released an album of covers including songs from groups like the Beastie Boys and ZZ Top. Their next album of original material, 2007's Eternamiente, was met with mixed reviews. Both fans and critics felt like Molotov’s sound had deviated too far from its roots. Rumors swirled that the band was breaking up.
For a while it seemed as if Molotov was entering its final stretch. Seven long years passed before fans were graced with some more original music, but the new album and live show are proof that it was well worth the wait.
Although the majority of the audience members at the Regent were there for Molotov’s earlier work, the energy and enthusiasm never dwindled, even during the band’s lesser known songs.
If the venue didn’t seem packed, it was only because most of the crowd was smashed up against the front of the stage thrashing in a mosh pit. Towards the end of the show, the pit had grown so big that it threatened to engulf the whole bottom floor.
Throughout the night, the members of Molotov swapped instruments and took turns spitting and shouting into the microphone. Even though the show was to promote their latest release, they still did a bunch of tracks off their older albums.
One of their bassists asked the crowd, “What would you rather hear, old songs or new ones?”
The response was pretty much unanimous. Everyone wanted the classics.
Molotov obliged by playing one of their most popular tracks, "Gimme Tha Power." Before they launched into "Frijolero," they gave a special shout-out to L.A., the city with the second largest population of Mexicans in North America.
There’s no denying that most of the crowd was Latin, as was evident by the many flags of different nationalities waving in the air. At one point, chants of “Mejico” filled the room.
The greatest thing about Molotov is that the friendship between the band members comes through while they’re on stage performing. They’re not doing their job; they are having fun and goofing off with their friends. Throughout the show, band members would occasionally throw things at each other's faces in the middle of songs, trying to throw one another off. It was entertaining to watch and a welcome relief from all the bands that take themselves too seriously.
Unfortunately, the sound quality was not up to par with Molotov’s performance. The levels were off from the moment the first song started. During some parts of the band’s set, the bass would drown out the drums and the vocals were lost in the mix almost the entire time. It was difficult to make out what anyone was saying.
None of that stopped people from having a great time though. By the end of the show, everyone at the Regent had done their fair share of moshing. It’s safe to say that Molotov has gone back to the hip-hop-inflected rock sound that fans know and love.
Set list on next page...
Olere y Olere y Olere El Uhu
Chinga Tu Madre
Here We Kum
La Raza Pura Es La Pura Raza
Chanwich a La Chichona
Perro Negro Granjero
Gimme Tha Power
Crazy Chola Loca
Mas Vale Cholo
Danse And Dense Denso
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See also: Our Molotov photo gallery