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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Concert Review: Injury doesn't deter Friday performance

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By Sergio Jiménez / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Del Castillo front man Alex Ruiz performs before tumbling off the stage and into the crowd hurting his leg considerably at The Showroom at Isleta Resort & Casino on Aug. 22.

Professionalism was the name of the game for Del Castillo at their recent Isleta Resort performance.

The show started out like any other as Del Castillo entered the stage on Friday like conquerors of Latin rhythm, sporting a full set of drums and congas, and setting the pace for their show with the anticipatory throng.

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Los Lonely Boys with Del Castillo
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Brothers Rick and Mark Del Castillo began the first number by wielding their Spanish-style guitars like wizards putting an intoxicating spell over the audience with their Austin-rock-meets-traditional-Spanish playing.

Halfway through their second song, though, front man Alex Ruiz tumbled off the stage and into the crowd, hurting his leg considerably.

Meanwhile, the stunned yet professional band never missed a single beat while this scene took place. As Ruiz was helped by security to the backstage, the remaining members of the band went into a crowd pleasing instrumental that went on for seven minutes.

Del Castillo engaged the audience by teaching them a chant to sing along with their ethnocentric beat-laden performance. After a conga player was informed by stage security that Ruiz would not return, the band changed up the set in a blink of an eye and continued to play on.

After playing four more songs, the band ended on their cover of the Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Running” and kept a questioning audience’s apprehension at bay by performing professionally. After taking a bow, Del Castillo left to an enthusiastic throng.

To hear Del Castillo’s amazing sound, visit delcastillomusic.com.

After Del Castillo’s performance, Los Lonely Boys entered the stage humble, but at the same time, polished and energetic. The Garza brothers live for their performances, and their reputation preceded them as they played their first two songs. Family was the theme of the evening as the band invited the crowd to reunite with them after their long absence from their previous show in the Duke City. Los Lonely Boys last performed in Albuquerque in 2008.

This power trio of brothers are not stage hogs, but shared the stage amicably with their cousin when they invited him on stage to play the accordion for their new album’s opener, “Blame It On Love.” A laid back atmosphere was established after lead singer, Henry Garza, played with the microphone and told the sound engineers to turn it up. A few adjustments later and the concert hall rang with a rocking accordion accompaniment.

As the song ended, the Garza’s primo (cousin) stayed on stage to jump into a traditional ranchera. The crowd went wild upon hearing this familiar sound and dancing ensued in the audience.

Los Lonely Boys went into two more rockers, exposing more music from their latest album and displaying how close their sound is live to the studio recordings.

The next treat for the Duke City audience came in the form of an invitation and salute of respect to Del Castillo, who performed so professionally at the start of the evening. The two Del Castillo brothers entered center stage with the Garza brothers jamming on the perimeter. A fifteen minute jam session was what resulted with combining these two musical talents, and the crowd responded positively.

A uniting sense of family and equality was a message this native San Angelo band conveyed with pride and precision. As the jamming continued, Jojo Garza, the bass player for the Lonely Boys, started playing the bass strings of his brother Henry Garza’s electric guitar. Henry Garza played the treble chords at the bottom of the guitar at the same time, creating a cohesive song played by two different musicians on one instrument. This display of showmanship was impressive and another solidifying motif of how family can work together to create a single piece of art.

The finale of the show featured an appropriately long jam of the Los Lonely Boys biggest hit, “Heaven.” Before lead singer and guitarist Henry Garza could finish the famous intro chords, the crowd was already in a frenzy of suspense having waited the whole show to sing along to this famous tune. The band created a new singalong section for the audience to join in on, which expanded this piece to well over 15 minutes.

When Los Lonely Boys were finished, they all bowed and left the stage with more of a feeling of a relative saying goodbye than a group of stars leaving a crowd.

Stephen Montoya is the culture editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @StephenMontoya9.