Reviewed by David Lynch, Fri., March 18, 2005
Mambo Kings, Friday, March 18
What makes music Latin music? Is it the players, rhythms, lyrics, or scales? Hailing from the Mexican heartland of San Miguel de Allende, Pilaseca christened the eve in a funk rock bath, with the danceable drop Spanglish of "Sex & Love" nicely representing the quartet's ability to work the crowd. The angular, raw punk of Chihuahua's Seis Pistos followed with double-time beats, bilingual instructions on requesting fellatio, and a mosh pit rendering of "Stairway to Heaven." DeSol came out of the gates swinging, demonstrating to fans in the open Seventh Street venue why they've been signed to Curb Records. The Latin soul orchestra from Asbury Park ended their set with a second-stage version of "Oyo Como Va," setting up things rather nicely for Los Mocosos, themselves fresh from touring with Carlos el Grande himself. The blistering San Francisco collective turned up a notch again, dropping diversity with their third tune, the reggae-beated and horn-powered "Hey Mama," one of the delicious cuts from their Six Degrees sophomore platter American Us. Even though Monterrey, Mexico's octet Inspector didn't perform in front of 200,000 as they had in Mexico City, they were the ska machine to close out the night, selecting from their aptly described Unidad, Cerveza y Ska (Universal). What is Latin music? Está noche, era todo los buenos, nios.