Generally I find dancing to live rock music unappealing. I love to dance, but I find that often you buy tickets for a pop/rock performance, sit in your seat, clap, cheer, jump up and down, and sing along, but your space remains confined by a chair. Because of this, I feel that many contemporary bands performing in a space that does have a dance floor don’t know how to use it to their advantage. Their sets are filled with monologues and breaks, and the general flow of the show is somewhat disjointed. When this happens, the set lacks fluidity and cohesiveness and dancing needs flow.
As soon as I saw the poster “Los Lobos Dance Party” at Century Casino Friday, I was mildly concerned. I had never seen Los Lobos before, and I had no idea what their dance party would entail. After a sleepy opening act, I was slightly more alarmed that this show would take on the “high school slow dance” vibe. Thankfully, I was wrong.
As the band started, the energy in the room was electric. The audience flocked to the dance floor. The space proved to be surprisingly intimate. We could touch the performers if we wanted, and some did. We could jump on stage and sing along with the bass player Conrad Lonzano, which one happy audience member did. We could yell our requests for the next song, and they would play it with an ease and confidence, natural to experienced artists. Within the first five minutes, I was impressed by how much music could be squeezed into one song. The fluidity of their transitions, insane accuracy of the drummer and the layering of the three guitars, created an easy East L.A. atmosphere that would make even the harshest critics, Los Lobos lovers by the end of the set.
Los Lobos has been on the music scene for over 30 years, with its original five members still actively involved. That is a big feat in the music industry, especially for a successful band. Within that time, performers are bound to create a tight set, but the fact they still maintain their diverse musical style and high energy playing, is inspiring. The performance flowed easily, from Spanish to English, rock to Mexican folk, polka to cumbia, and guitar to accordion, with a humour and humility that fit their unique west coast style. Rarely have I seen a group of guys have as much fun onstage as they did on Friday night. (I would recommend going just to watch the bass player’s facial expressions.) It was priceless. Their communication between members for the performance’s endings, transitions, and solos was smooth and effortlessly brilliant. Their patter was brief, functional and kept the music flowing, perfect for keeping up the energy on the dance floor.
Los Lobos played what seemed like three songs before they said a single word; it was magic. They started off with music and they finished the performance with music. Essentially, this is what we were all there for.
For more info on upcoming shows @ Century Casino, click here
For more Info about Los Lobos, click here