By Julie DeHerrera
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 08/01/2008 11:17:04 AM MDT
The audience at Red Butte Garden got a taste of Latin, blues, cumbia, rockabilly, Tejano, and rock ‘n’ roll music on Wednesday night courtesy of Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys in what was dubbed The Brotherhood Tour. It could very well have been called the La Familia or The Los Amigos Tour.
Hailing from East L.A., Los Lobos formed in 1973, remaining intact and in fine form more than three decades later.
Conrad Lozano, Louie Pérez, Cesar Rosas, Steve Berlin and David Hidalgo pen and sing songs that honor their Mexican lineage.The blending of accordion with guitars and the occasional saxophone create the sound the group is noted for, such as “Chuko’s Cumbia,” which had audience members on their feet and swaying. The polka-flavored “Let’s Say Goodnight” featured Hidalgo’s truly amazing voice, later showcased on the rockabilly “Don’t Worry Baby.” Not to be outdone, Cesar Rosas also contributed to vocals throughout the evening. Since Los Lobos entered mainstream America’s consciousness in 1987 via “La Bamba,” the bio-pic about singer Ritchie Valens, the crowd expected to hear that hit and the band didn’t disappoint. Other hits, including “Come On, Let’s Go,” and covers of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” and Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” were concert highlights.
Concert-goers appreciated a beautiful Spanish song dedicated to the late Ramon Cardenas Jr. of Salt Lake City’s Red Iguana Mexican restaurant, a place the band frequents whenever they are in town. And Los Lonely Boys wailing guitarist Henry Garza joined his mentors on stage for the set-ender, “Mas Y Mas.”
But from reading the tank tops of women fans in the crowd, it was the younger band, Los Lonely Boys, who were the night’s draw.
The Texas sibling trio of Henry, Jojo and Ringo Garza opened a 10-song set with the bluesy “Heart Won’t Tell A Lie” from their latest disc, “Forgiven,” and the title track showed off harmonies that sounded more spontaneous than arranged.
Henry Garza channeled lengendary guitarists Valens, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Carlos Santana as he furiously pounded and plucked guitar strings. He cast a formidable figure in sunglasses, with his long black hair flowing in the slight breeze, an embodiment of Texican rock ‘n roll. Their songs mixed rock and blues, combined with the flavors of conjunto music on “Hollywood” and “Heaven,” the band’s first Billboard hit and the most-anticipated song of the night.”
The band paid tribute to Bo Diddley, who died in June, by playing “Who Do You Love?” with Dave Hidalgo joining the brothers on stage, with Berlin’s saxophone jams adding to “I Am The Man To Beat.”
A perfect end to the 90-minute set was “Suppertime,” a hilarious ode to food with dueling kazoos by Ringo and Henry, while JoJo took on singing duties.
— Julie DeHerrera can be reached at [email protected].