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Mariachi El Bronx at Amoeba on Tuesday August 2nd

Mariachi El Bronx, The Bronx’s album or a new band? I was confused when I went to Amoeba on Tuesday night where their performance was announced at 6pm to celebrate the release of their second album.

I got the explanation on the internet, The hardcore punk/hard rock band The Bronx went all mariachi style starting in 2007, put the flashy traditional suits on, and adopted this new alter ego, Mariachi El Bronx, to perform in a true Mariachi style, and meanwhile, continuing to perform under these two different pseudonyms. I got it, it’s a side project and a sort of curiosity, but at the same time, they were taking it very seriously, playing these Mexican-romantic tunes like a true south-of-the-border band, despite their not-so-chicano looks.

The crowd at Amoeba was really all-ages, something you don’t always see, and they were 8 on stage, on guitars, drums, tropical percussion, bright trumpets, violin, and mariachi typical guitarrón (the large Mexican guitar used as a bass), with frontman Matt Caughthran on vocals, who was smiling all along, crooning like a Mexican tenor, happy to be there and announcing their two sold-out release-party shows at La Cita the same and next days.

They naturally sing in English, and the music cannot be more upbeat: ‘This is a song focusing on the good things in life', said Caughthran before singing ‘Great Provider’, then ‘Matador, and a few from their previous album, ‘Cell Mates’, ‘Litigation’, and ‘Slave Labor’. They skipped the lamenting side of the Mariachi style, the part when a man or a woman serenade for half an hour, no there was nothing of this, just well-crafted songs with a true love for traditional mariachi nevertheless. They closed the show with their energetic but contained (for hardcore men) ‘Revolution Girls’.

It’s a long way from hardcore, but they could have fooled anyone with their heartfelt and sincere performance, injected by these bright horn outbursts, and strumming-galloping strings, very Calexico-style (especially their first song ‘48 Roses’), proving it is possible to have a modern take with a punk attitude on a century-old style.

You can check out their tour dates, as they are touring with Gogol Bordello and the Foo Fighters in the next months:

8/9 – Nurnberg, GER – Hirsch with Gogol Bordello
8/10 – Luxembourg – Den Atelier with Gogol Bordello
8/14 – Budapest, HU – Sziget Festival with Gogol Bordello
8/18 – Gampel, GER – Open Air Gampel Festival
8/26 – Glasgow, UK – Rock & Roll Damnation with The Bronx
8/27 – Reading, UK – Reading Festival
8/28 – Leeds, UK – Leeds Festival
9/18 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival

Tour with Foo Fighters and Rise Against
9/14 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
9/16 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
9/17 – St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
9/19 – Auburn Hills, MI – Palace of Auburn Hills
9/20 – Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena
9/22 – Columbus, OH – Nationwide Arena
9/23 – Pittsburgh, PA – Consol Energy Center
9/25 – Buffalo, NY – HSBC Arena
9/26 – East Rutherford, NJ – Izod Center

Tour with Foo Fighters and Cage the Elephant
10/9 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Arena
10/11 – Salt Lake City, UT – Maverik Center,
10/13 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
10/14 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
10/16 – Phoenix, AZ – U.S. Airways Center
10/17 – San Diego, CA – Valley View Casino Center
10/19 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
10/20 – Sacramento, CA – Power Balance Pavilion
10/25 – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
10/27 – Calgary, AB – Scociabank Saddledome
10/28 – Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place


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