Chicano Batman, Hanni El Khatib, and Thee Commons stung the Observatory North Park with soulful sounds on December 30th.
Thee Commons opened the sold out show. Also known as “Los Communes,” their act was a blend of surf rock and psychedelic cumbia. The song, “Work It Out” from Paleta Sonora was a perfect example of their unique groovy guitar and raspy singing. The crowd found themselves dancing and moshing to the energetic music. Towards the end of their set, the drummer performed an eccentric drum solo that left the people hyped for the next act.
Hanni El Khatib began their performance with a drum solo that payed a kind of homage to Thee Commons’ drummer. The music differentiated a bit from the Chicano influenced style from the opener, but the excitement and drive carried over. “Pay No Mind” from Hanni El Khatib’s Head In The Dirt album was a punk beat that had the crowd singing along to the chorus. The distorted guitars wailed when the breakdown came along with a bit of psychedelia seeping from the vocals. Finally, the rhythmic groove of “Paralyzed” from Savage Times reminded us of headliner Chicano Batman’s soulful style.
Chicano Batman decorated the stage with a banner of their album cover Freedom Is Free. They played “Angel Child” from that record first. This tune was a melting pot of funkadelic soul, punchy bass lines, and bright guitars. One of the last songs they performed was “Magma” from Cycles of Existential Rhyme. In a way, they wanted to please the crowd who kept begging the band to play that song.
Overall, these three bands laid grounds to danceable, upbeat, Chicano music.