Ronstadt and Oldies at Youth Center Benefit
The packed bleachers and nearly filled playing field at Cal State Los Angeles told half of the story about the Hollenbeck Youth Center’s benefit concert Saturday. Despite fears that the two-day benefit had been underpublicized, the first day of ‘50s rock groups topped by Linda Ronstadt and the Mariachi Los Camperos was a financial hit.
The musical half of the show was another story. Many of the acts were not really the groups themselves, but “tributes"--as in “The Music of the Shirelles” and “A Tribute to Bill Haley’s Comets"--and were running on the thinnest of nostalgia fumes.
After long delays, Ronstadt, singer-actor Daniel Valdez and the Mariachi Los Camperos took the stage. Except for the son “La Charreada,” which still gives her lyric trouble, Ronstadt sang slower rancheras, corridos and huapangos with more authority than she showed in her concert performances last year. Unfortunately, this part of the five-hour show was far too brief.