Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
With a musical ruckus taking over Atlanta, way of the Shaky Knees Festival, Chicano Batman took wise advantage of their presence by offering fans, not one, but 2 concerts in a day. Fashionably late, the Californian band took their act to The Loft in order to showcase some old-school-cool outfits, and that sweet sound of theirs for a packed house of aficionados.
Led by shaggy-haired Bardo Martinez, this quartet produces soulful concoctions with a flair for Latino tunage. Their sound is funky-soothing and aphrodisiac-like, their presence feels like a throwback to a time of awesome, and their fans fucking dig it! In support of their third LP, Freedom Is Free, this foursome bid farewell to Day II of the Shaky Knees Festival with a dance-party that went on well past midnight.
On stage, Chicano Batman’s bilingual extravaganza is led by Bardo’s silky falsetto, keyboards mastery, and sudden bursts of energy. His band-mates amp up the atmosphere in their own ways, guitarist Carlos Arévalo plays it cool, slight sways and a serious expression is his style. By contrast, bassist Eduardo Arenas seems to wear every emotion on his sleeve through expressive facial features and those, oh so hip, retro-sunglasses. Add in drummer Gabriel Villa‘s wide smile and rhythmic prowess, and we have quite a celebration. Renditions of newer singles like namesake “Freedom Is Free,” “Angel Child” and classic Batman anthems like “Black Lipstick” and “Cycles of Existential Rhyme” were musically tight, had onlookers joyfully hip-swinging, and were complemented by showers of dazzling strobe lights. By evening’s end, it was perfectly clear this L.A. four took Atlanta on a night soon not to be forgotten.
If you have yet to be introduced to Chicano Batman’s pageantry and melodies, do yourself a service and download their new album, Freedom is Free, or be sure to check them out on tour when they roll into a venue or festival near you. It promises to be both a mind-blowing and soul-easing affair.