Di Composers brings back pachuco boogie to stage

Photograph courtesy of Di Composers

By Erik Luna

Who would think the S2 recital hall at East Los Angeles College could be used as a time machine?

That’s exactly what the case was for Di Composers’s last concert for the winter semester last Thursday. Headlining the event was Pachuco Jose y los Diamantes, which translates into Pachuco Joe and the Diamonds.

The nine-piece band plays a style of music dubbed pachuco boogie that was quite popular in the ’40s and brings the culture and the eccentricities of the pachuco movement back to center stage.

Opening for Pachuco Jose was Armament, a Los Angeles based, thrash band. This band consisted of four members that played with fierce tenacity and only lacked an audience to get behind them and form a mosh pit, although there would be no room for pitting in this recital hall.

It was a weird combination to have these two bands on the same bill, but it gave the night a sense of spontaneity. Armament played its fast paced riffs, while Pachuco Jose delivered its catchy guitars and horn lines. The lighting in the recital hall helped Armament make the performance more dramatic, yet it interfered with the flow for Pachuco Jose’s performance.

Pachuco Jose was not only there to sing, but also to dance. He exploded into dance several times during the bands performance, which is the mark of a true entertainer. He joked around with his back-up band and danced with a young woman who was on stage and made jokes with the audience.

The singer/guitarist for Armament Albert Gutierrez sounded a bit like the singer for the thrash band Overkill, yet his solos lacked pizzazz and many times took away from the song, rather than giving it a bit more. The band as a whole was quite entertaining and had an interesting sound.

In the end it was Pachuco Jose that got people up and dancing, one man actually burst off his seat and began dancing. The band, which has a heavy influence from artists such as Don Tosti and Lalo Guerrero, had mesmerizing guitar riffs, intoxicating percussions and amazing horn lines that people couldn’t help but dance to.

The flow of the crowd was apparent once the band went into “Chicas Patas Boogie,” and “Los Chucos Suave,” more people went up to dance despite having such limited space.

Pachuco Jose y Los Diamantes put on one hell of a show, sadly most students didn’t even know there was a show going on.

The guitarist for Pachuco Jose came out after the show to thank that crowd for making the long drive, from Indiana Ave. to ELAC, the comedy was not lost on the crowd.

Di Composers will be having more concerts throughout the spring semester. Let’s see what era they decide to bring back to the stage next.

Photograph courtesy of Di Composers

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