Molotov House of Blues September 27, 2011
The audience was already getting rowdy as we photographers claimed our spots in the soon-to-be drop zone for crowd surfers in front of the House of Blues stage. The concert hadn't even started and there were several 20-oz. Bud Light cans littering the floor in the photo pit.
This being Aftermath's first Molotov concert, we had no idea how hard the four-time Latin Grammy award winners were about to rock it.
When Tito, Miky, Paco and El Gringo Loco took the stage, our first observation was how unimpressive the light show was compared to bands like Café Tacuba or Los Amigos Invisibles. However, before we knew what was happening, our body was trying to figure out how to dance, take pictures and not trip over the metal barricade supports dripping with beer.
When the bouncers ushered us out of the pit after the third song, the crowd's energy and the bass lines that were vibrating our soul were completely mesmerizing. Aftermath hadn't had that feeling at a concert since our first Rage Against the Machine show.
The four members of the Mexican rock band - Ismael Fuentes de Garay, Miguel Ángel Huidobro Preciado, Juan Francisco Ayala Gonzalez and Randall Ebright - brought all 15 years of Molotov's music with them without compromise. It's been two-years since the band has put out a new album, but you couldn't tell by the pure energy in the room generated by the band and fed on by the crowd.
Molotov was also the most interactive we've seen any band be at a show. One member shared a swig of beer with a lucky front-row fan in the middle of a song, and Paco made sure he hung a fan's banner on the stage that security had confiscated before it could get to him.
"I never seen a band act like that, like it was their personal playground," fan Eddie Garcia said.
Everyone knew all the words and was signing their lungs out with the band. By the seventh song, the moshing had started but it was the friendliest group of moshers Aftermath has ever seen. People were looking out for each other, helping folks off the ground and still moshing hardcore.
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Far from just running through the set list, Molotov blasted out the favorites "Voto Latino" and "Gimme the Power" as though it was the first time they'd played the song. They were just rubbing in what they know about being real musicians when they start trading instruments between each other. Molotov has fun playing music, and how can anyone not have a good time with that attitude?
Then it was almost over. The band left the stage and took their time coming back for the encore. No shouted the typical "otra" though. Shouts of "puto" turned to "culero" and then it got a little quiet. Maybe everyone, including the crowd, was catching their breath because they knew what was coming. It took the band a full eight minutes before they came back for their four-song encore.
"Molotov brought everything, and then some. They touched on every album from their repertoire, and delivered on every song," fan Juan Hernandez said.
This band will make you feel proud to be Mexican, even if you're not.
Personal Bias: Politically inspired, addressing issues such as disenfranchisement within Mexico and immigration in the United States.
The Crowd: Majority young Latino males.
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Overheard In the Crowd: If you were there and weren't on your feet for the whole show, check your pulse, you must be dead.
Random Notebook Dump: I spied someone taking a picture with an iPad; iPhone substitutes "putonghua" for "puto."