Saturday, July 16, 2005

Del Castillo is Chingón!

Hard to believe I hadn't seen the band since April, 3 months exactly! This was one of the Antone's 30th Anniversary celebration shows held all week, and it was a great show! It was nice to see them back at Antone's too. La Zona Rosa is better for bands but worse for fans.

Rodriguez always brings in some variety and you never know what to expect. Usually it's something to do with one or more of his movies, this time it was a live performance of some of the Sin City music. He and Johnny Reno (the sax player) rehearsed it in Rodriguez' vehicle while I was standing in line (rehearsing was really just listening to a recording of it and going over stuff without having instruments), and that was pretty cool. In another show he brought out George Lopez as a surprise guest, and he played with the guys, forcing them to play things like "Whole Lotta Love"... now you probably won't experience THAT again! Then he made the crowd catch him, thankfully they did. Then there was the Bruce Willis Chingon donut thing that all got filmed (look for some of it on the Sin City DVD), and the one with the fabulous Tito Larriva, and the one where they played the theme from "The Godfather" for Clifford Antone. Mostly, I like having the opportunity to hear Cuka Rocka and Malagueña Salerosa, and maybe to hear the guys play electric.

Del Castillo is the best band in Austin in my opinion, and would stand up well against any band anywhere. Yes, you all know how much I love Eric Johnson, but he's not technically a "band", is he? I was chatting with the guy next to me in line and Eric's name came up, when I said that I really liked Eric too he said "So it's all about guitar for you?". I said that it was more about virtuosity, and beautiful music. I could have added "passionate", and music with heart, soul and spirit. Also, it really helps for me if I think that the musicians are decent people. It shouldn't make any difference, but to me it does. I wouldn't go near a Ted Nugent concert, he might be the greatest player on earth but he's not getting a dime or a minute of time from me. Ditto Toby Keith. The guys in Del Castillo are definitely good guys. The shows are family gatherings for them, and they make their fans feel like family too. Patricia Vonne is a real sweetie too, and her new CD is good.

I'll probably see Del Castillo next week in Helotes with Monte Montgomery (another opening act gig, but an interesting pairing making for a night of flat-out, pedal to the metal acoustic guitar). After that it looks like September will be the next opportunity to see them because the Keep Austin Weird Festival in August is a conflict with already planned Eric Johnson. It really is an embarrassment of riches (thanks to ev for applying that perfect phrase to the delights we have in Austin).

Lots of pictures from this show and others are posted here.
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