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POP MUSIC REVIEWS : Music Prevails at Big Top Locos II

Just in case things were getting too political. . . .

“We’re here to play music, and we don’t give a damn about anything else,” Ruben (Tucupa) Delgado, lead singer for local rock en espan~ol group Los Olvidados, told the audience seconds before opening the Big Top Locos II show Saturday night at the Universal Amphitheatre.

The concert, a follow-up to last year’s Big Top Locos show at the Olympic Auditorium, was a benefit for children affected by the political turmoil in Chiapas. Organized by the comedy trio Culture Clash and emceed by Mexican actress Ofelia Medina and actor Edward James Olmos, the night of the Chicano and rock en espan ~ ol bands drew a crowd of about 3,500--and despite the often exaggerated political undertone of the night, at the end it was the music that prevailed.

Victimas del Dr. Cerebro, one of Mexico’s most colorful bands, offered songs from “Brujerias” (“Witchcrafts”) with the band’s usual combination of ska, punk and metal. Its set was a visual feast that included masks, a giant skeleton and a hilarious put-down of Latin romantic music that jumped from a corny ballad to a fierce thrash.

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Leading the punky field with equally strong sets were Youth Brigade, Argentina’s Todos Tus Muertos and its Mexican sister band, Tijuana No. All three were greeted by a wild slam that never lost its fever pitch.

Closing act Trulio Disgracias seemed out of place in the hard-core lineup; the crowd just wasn’t ready for the funk and R&B; of this side project led by two members of Fishbone. Too bad, because the mostly African American band contributed to the party with a soaring display of power.

Chicano band Voodoo Glow Skulls was a no-show.


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