Manic Hispanic – The Riverboat Gamblers – and La Plebe – at Azul Tequila – Las Vegas, NV

May 27, 2012

As the second day of the festival wound down, the club shows were shifting into gear. We found ourselves at Azul Tequila for the Bowlers Awards show featuring La Plebe, The Riverboat Gamblers, and the one and only Manic Hispanic.

After being in the sun for most of the day and sticking to only water and iced coffee, I was really looking forward to sitting down and having a beer. Stupidly, I didn’t have any cash on me and Azul is a cash-only bar with a broken ATM machine. Needless to say I was bummed, but that didn’t last for long once La Plebe started their set.

I had no idea what to expect from them, as I had never heard them until that night, but as soon as they started I wanted more! As I think most of us do, we come back from Punk Rock Bowling with a new favourite band and that band for me this year was La Plebe. Holy shitballs! I love these guys and would love it if they played more Southern California shows. Self-described as “bilingual punk with horns ‘n vomit”, I didn’t see any of the latter, but the former were off the hook. From the first note to the last, these guys were musically tight and full of energy.  The crowd wasn’t very large, as people were still stumbling in from the festival, but the ones who were there were incredibly enthusiastic (understandably so). After much too short of a time, they finished up and people scattered throughout the indoor/outdoor venue to chat with friends or pick up their bowling trophy. .

Speaking of trophies, congratulations to the 2012 winners—Hookers and Blow! As this was the awards party, I assumed that an announcement would be made, but I guess that’s not how it’s done.  After another pass to the ATM to see if it was working yet (nope, apparently this was my night to remain sober, damnit) Riverboat Gamblers took to the stage. Not wanting to be outdone by San Francisco-based La Plebe, the guys from Austin hit hard and fast. Mike Wiebe, true to wacky form, climbed the scaffolding surrounding the stage and I thought that he might dive into the crowd from his perch—no dice. Around the middle of their set, the audience seemed to get their second wind and started a small, but eager, pit. They released a new album, “The Wolf You Feed”, just a couple of days prior to this show so their set was a mix of old and new (Good Veins, Comedians, Maggie Lea, Art of F*ck come to mind). As much as I enjoy the Gamblers, I thought their set went on just a hair too long.

Another quick break and then it was time for Manic Hispanic. These dudes? I friggin’ lovelovelove! Their humour and camaraderie with each other as people comes across whenever they play and I always try to make it to their shows.  If you have never listened to or have never seen Manic Hispanic, please fix this grievous oversight as soon as humanly possible. For those of you not in the know, they are a punk/Chicano cover band that takes well known punk songs, and changes key lyrics so that they are more Chicano specific (e.g., I Want To Be A Cholo, Mommy’s Little Cholo, and Rudy Cholo).  A powerhouse of musical talent, members of the group come from various bands such as The Cadillac Tramps and The Adolescents.

Manic Hispanic

As soon as the band stepped up on stage, the energy in the audience shot through the non-existent roof and stayed that way throughout the night. Couple that with the already celebratory atmosphere, and you have a winning show combination.

People were laughing, people were pitting, people were drinking, and sometimes they were doing all 3 at once. Of all the club shows, I think this one was by far, hands down, packed with the most fun and talent.

-Anni Thyme.-

Big Wheel Staff Reporter


                     More photos of the show can be seen HERE

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