June 5, 2009 Austin, Texas - I first saw Este Vato perform back in October 2008 at Flamingo Cantina. In fact Este Vato was my very first blog. I liked them back then and I like them even more now. I've seen Este Vato perform a total of four times. First at the Flamingo Cantina, second at Trophy's Bar and Grill in January, third at the Mohawk for the Remezcal.com En Tu Ciudad Tour in March and last Friday at the Tiniest Bar in Texas.
I've gotten to know the guys in Este Vato and can honestly say they are a very friendly and approachable group of talented musicians. I always look forward to seeing and hearing them perform.
Este Vato has transformed from a newly formed band back in October with only five songs, to a band with a solid playlist, new CD in progress, and with a lot of confidence and stage presence. The band has done a good job of establishing their name and their Cumbia Rock/Latin Fusion sound in a short time frame and in a very competitive music market.
Friday night Este Vato played solidly and with confidence despite the bar's sound technician not showing up for work. They worked the sound board and managed the sound levels excellently. They played my favorite song "El Poder" along with "Quemadura,"Mundo En Fuego" and others. They also played three new songs, "Balazo," "A Bit of a Rattlesnake," and "Movimiento."
I really liked the new songs. They had the familiar Cumbia Rock with an added rock guitar sound in "A Bit of a Rattlesnake." In "Balazo," Rey Treviño used a sample of the news broadcast and shot fired on that infamous day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. "El Poder" also samples recorded speeches by Ché Guevara and Martin Luther King. The samplings adds depth
and impact to both of the song's message.
One of the things I was really disappointed with Friday night was the audience involvement. Every time I've been to a Este Vato performance the audience is out there dancing and having a good time. Even though the audience was appreciative of Este Vato and they sincerely applauded their performance, this audience was not a party crowd. There were three lovely ladies that got up to dance but I think they got discouraged for lack of other dancers and sat down. The only other person who got up to dance, without a partner, was Joaquin Garza. I have seen Jaoquin at all the Este Vato performances and just thought he was an avid fan. I thought it was time to meet this guy. It turns out that Joaquin is Chano Lopez's brother and Chano states "the song "Na Pos" is actually a nod to him named after one of his sayings..."Na Pos."
I think the band uses Joaquin as a plant and at a certain que from the band, Joaquin starts dancing. The audience sees someone dancing and then they join in. It sounds far fetched but it could happen?
This is the first time I've been to the Tiniest Bar in Texas. I like the outdoor set up. There is a small covered stage for bands to perform. The audience area has picnic tables, patio tables and chairs on a gravel covered area. The audience area also has a small covered patio and the area overall accommodates approximately 50 people plus comfortably. There is also an enclosed, elevated patio area, away form the stage, with table and chairs that holds approximately 15-20 people. Two bars in both areas provide alcoholic beverages for your consumption pleasure. Please Drink Responsibly.
Parking spots were hard to find. There were parking meters all the way around the block surrounding the bar but they were all taken. The possible explanation is all the condos in the immediate area. I circled the block a couple of times but with no luck. The second time I circled the block, I saw a sign for $5 parking. The parking was located at The Monarch. They have a covered parking garage and they had available spots. The Monarch lot is adjacent to the bar so I lucked out. The parking garage and surrounding area is well lit and there's plenty of traffic.
Overall it was a good night. I'll have to wait to see Este Vato again because they are going to Laredo and Hebronville, Texas this June to play some shows on their Pacopalooza 2009 tour. I wish them "Good Luck" and we'll see you when you get back.
Band members are: Rocky Reyna, Oscar Reyna, Ricardo Lara, Feliciano "Chano" Lopez, Rey Treviño and Frank "FAAR" Ramirez.