Mariachi el Bronx by Jeremiah Garcia

KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez and crowd by Jeremiah Garcia

KCRW Presents First Fridays 2012 at the Natural History Museum and you can find out what’s ahead here!

Review by KCRW Music Blog contributor Grace Snodgrass:

“This one goes out to Pablo Escobar and Jesus Christ,” shouted Mariachi El Bronx frontman Matt Caughthran – in full mariachi regalia – as the group launched into the upbeat “Silver or Lead”, about drug use and religion, midway through Friday’s show at the Natural History Museum. And so the show went.

I arrived at the museum’s First Friday event exhausted, questioning if I’d have the energy to persevere through the 9:15p start time (getting old is a humbling experience) let alone an entire set. But as soon as the band launched into the pulsing and infectious “48 Roses”, with impassioned vocals from both Matt and violinist Ray Suen, I caught the spirit and gave into the dancing. It’s hard not to have a good time when a group is so clearly enjoying themselves on stage – not to mention tearing it up on every instrument from trumpet to accordion. (Incidentally, Jorma Vik, cowbell has never been so sexy.)

Mariachi El Bronx by Jeremiah Garcia

The L.A.-based group shouted out their friends and family throughout the set, clearly appreciative to be home after a long fall touring schedule. Maybe it was the size of the room or the shared camaraderie that comes from holding a show among large furry mammals frozen in time, but it felt like the audience was part of the performance, which always makes for the most enjoyable and memorable shows.

Elsewhere in the museum that night, Dr. Michael Schermer discussed how our brains behave, attendees oohed and aahed over the T-Rexes in the new dinosaur exhibit, and KCRW DJ’s Anthony Valadez and Travis Holcombe DJed next to the makeshift bar in the African mammal hall.

Without question, Mariachi El Bronx owned the deer, sea lions (“the f***ing biggest sea lion” Matt had ever seen in fact) and crowd in the North American mammal hall on Friday. More than anything, I was impressed by the energy they brought to the room through their entire performance, which was thankfully enough to knock me back into my young age and keep me dancing past curfew.

– Grace Snodgrass

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Mariachi el Bronx by Jeremiah Garcia

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