PBS television special rocks the historic Orpheum Theatre
How fitting for Singulars to “gozar” the music of Latin Music Legends in the crown jewel of downtown Los Angeles, the lovingly restored Orpheum Theatre. Hosted by Trini Lopez and his awesome band, the November 11 event brought together seminal figures of Chicano rock and major crossover artists who broke open the doors of the music industry to Latin-flavored sounds.
And what a night for Singulars and people watching! The audience was decked out in their dance party best, ready for a night of shaking it around. Shake it they did, starting with East L.A.’s own Thee Midniters with Little Willie G., belting out their big hit, “Land Of A Thousand Dances” (Nah – na na na nah) bringing the audience to their feet.
In the 60’s and 70’s, The Midniters were East L.A.’s answer to the British invasion and R&B. They were the most exciting and popular local band outside of Hollywood, consistently drawing overflow crowds to all the cities’ top dance halls. You’re still lookin’ and sounding good, Willie G.!
El Chicano, brown-eyed soul band from L.A., was true to their original R&B funky fusion sound. They started with the jazzy “Viva Tirado,” then revved up the crowd with the salsafied “Tell Her She’s Lovely,” their tight, clear vocal harmonies as fresh as ever. Latin R&B never sounds so smooth as when ever-solid Tierra hits the downbeat. The audience swayed to their cruiser ballad “Together,” complete with perfect brass and awesome organ solos. My personal favorite was their rendering of Billy Stewart’s lovely “I Do Love You,” medley, which brought back happy teenybopper memories.
After a little cocktail break and socializing in the lobby with new friends, we headed down front near the stage and were treated to the evening’s topper, The Gregg Rolie Band. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Rolie (Santana’s original lead singer), seriously rocked the house with “Black Magic Woman,” “Oye Como Va” and other danceable, salsa-infused chestnuts. We SingularCity chicas were on our feet clapping, snapping, grinning and grooving. Michael Carabello, together with Adrian Areas on timbales, provided hot percussion on conga. He also tossed autographed drumsticks to the salsa-crazed audience; SingularCity member Cheri and I were lucky to each catch one as a memento of this special concert. Thank you Singular!
Returning to the stage, Trini Lopez, who earlier treated the audience to his wonderful “If I Had A Hammer,” gathered all the bands to sing “La Bamba,” inviting the audience to join in to end the evening, and we did!
All that dancing left me hungry. Taco cart, anyone? Broadway at night has a few!
Join the Music Lovers group on SingularCity and jump on the next exciting bandwagon!