Another Great Weekend in the Land of 1,000 Dances

The City of Angels gives up treasures of music, culture, and good times, as Richard Bean and SAPO make a triumphant return

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: August 6, 2013

Another Great Weekend in the Land of 1,000 Dances

?ŪOrale, Mi Gente!

Once again, I am more than happy to report that all is well in Aztlan, as our people continue to enjoy life, love, culture, and music in L.A.

The Gente was just barely catching their breaths from killer Salsa Music Festivals in East L.A. and Oxnard when Friday night in the Land of 1000 Dances rolled around again...

Fortunate to be part of LatinoLA's and East L.A. Revue Radio's "Fearsome Foursome" (a good looking group of young grandparents with A LOT of good looking friends, dedicated to proving THERE IS STILL LIFE, love, and dancing after kids ), I thoroughly enjoyed this weekend that was alive with music and entertainment for everybody!

While groups like TIERRA were exciting the folks in San Gabriel, SOUL PURSUIT was rockin' Maggie's Pub in Santa Fe Springs, SOTO was knockin' em' dead at 3 Vinos in Covina, COLD DUCK was wowing them in Rancho Cucamonga, CASA0101 Theater was hosting a held over performance of the stage play TRIO LOS MACHOS in East L.A, and many other places jumped ...

THEE TICKET on Friday was at The Mayflower Club in North Hollywood as RICHARD BEAN & SAPO made a triumphant return to L.A. after many, many years with a sold out concert-dance that proved how music is forever a fountain of youth‘«™and Latin Rock music puts a little sparkle in the drink!

Opening up with their memorable 1973 Chicano anthem "Ritmo de Corazon" , Richard and the guys were totally on it for the whole night, keeping the dance floor full and the Gente happy, while playing a full non-stop 2 hour set.

The band was simply flawless, going through the motions of a well oiled, turbo-charged machine, with masterful horns and percussion kicking it up to another level that was as exciting as it was entertaining..

Celebrating over 40 years in Latin Rock music, Richard looked & sounded as smooth & cool as the first time I ever saw & heard SAPO back in 1973. Of course as the original voice of MALO's million seller classic & another Chicano anthem, "Suevecito", he received a well deserved standing ovation and packed dance floor as he closed the show with his memorable tune he will forever be remembered for.

‘«™that's saying something for the power & magic of the art of music !

As fortunate guests of Chicano Photographer of the Stars DAVID AGUILAR, we were honored to kick it in the audience & dance floor with such dignitaries as East L.A. Revue Radio's Chico Manqueros, Greg Esparza of Thee Midniters, TIERRA's Dale Villavicencio & Joey Navarro, Johnny Burrola of Hip Street, Gil Rocha of Richie Valen's SILLOUETTES, and a standing room only crowd of SAPO fans.

After the show , Richard & members of SAPO gladly signed autographs, posed for pictures, and chatted with fans, many who had waited years to see them in concert.

Richard had just been in L.A. two weeks earlier, joining Ray Carrion and the Latin All Stars for a concert in El Monte. We chatted & shared a couple of jokes, when he tells LatinoLA: " I just love the people, energy, and the music atmosphere of L.A. ‘«™I'm made to feel so welcome‘«™I have had such a good time here performing music that makes everyone get up and dance, such a rush for any musician ‘«™and we'll be doing it again tomorrow night!"

True to his word, Richard & SAPO performed again Saturday night at Nick's Taste of Texas to another full house of dancing fans‘«™welcome back to L.A. Richard!

Saturday night was another jumping night in the Land of 1000 Dances. Besides SAPO entertaining the masses, and hot groups like LOUIE PARRA & THEE MAD LATINS, IMPULSE, and TEASE were keeping folks off the porch and happy, tonight's ticket was the ever popular BALANCE Band, featuring the "Chicano Rick James of Street Corner Soul" Mr. SAMMY MEDINA.

BALANCE made their San Fernando Valley debut, joining San Fernando's classic car club Los Solitarios and a little over 450 of their closest Veterano y Veterana friends & family from back in the day in celebrating 50 years of San Fernando memories & existence, at the Alemany Hall in Mission Hills.

A few other SFV veterano Car Clubs from back in the day brought beautiful ladies and their colors to represent and join the party, but the night truly belonged to the original members of Los Solitarios & BALANCE.

BALANCE was on the J-O-B as they rocked the house and kept the dance floor full from the very first song. Being that this was their first appearance in the San Fernando Valley, I'm sure they made a little over 450 new fans.

DJ Sugarbear and I ran into so many friends and fans we haven't seen for awhile, it felt like a family-neighborhood reunion, with everybody high-fiving or hugging each other on the dance floor in friendly recognition as BALANCE performed soulful hit after hit with the kind of ganas that makes you want to get out on the dance floor and celebrate the moment.

Besides their trademark street corner soul-funk-oldies-r&b playlist that has sparked dance crowds all over Southern California and beyond, BALANCE gave it a twist of Brown with some cumbias & Tejano that brought out some playful gritos from the large crowd that made the night complete, as my Lady & I joined the large crowd with dancing the Califas ranchera-boogaloo.

The next morning, Sunday, still feeling a little energized from 2 exciting nights of live killer music & dancing, the Fearsome Foursome made it out to East L.A.'s famed Mercado Marketplace on 1st Street, for some 1st class menudo with all the fixings, ice cold Tecates, and of course, the Mercado's offering of some of the best of L.A.'s live Mariachi music on the third floor level‘«™life is just too good sometimes, know what I mean?

..and that's how it was this past weekend in just a couple of corners of Aztlan‘«™and there are many, many more corners & weekends here in the Land of 1000 Dances!

Step out next weekend and see!

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Voice of Aztlan heard daily on internet radio station www.eastLArevue.com and a regular contributor to this fine web magazine
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