Saturday in the Park

The East L.A. Revue rocks Pomona

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: August 12, 2004

Saturday in the Park

Man, I love it, I love it, and I can't get enough of it! I am so blessed to be a Brown man living in the Land of 1000 Dances, Southern Califas.

Beautiful weather, beautiful people, beautiful music, and no reason to celebrate other than it was just another gorgeous summer Saturday afternoon in Southside Kali, made this a perfect opportunity to get out of the house & live a little bit of life.

So it was recently, in my never ending quest to seek out Mi Gente at play and bring you the full report here on LatinoLA.com, that I find myself at the front porch of the Inland Empire, Pomona, Califas, for an outdoor concert with the ever popular East L.A. Revue All Star Band.

At the generous request of the fabled City of Pomona, and their Cultural Arts Commission, I was honored to serve as Host & MC for this week's "Concert in the Park", a free event open to the public every Saturday afternoon as long as the sun rises & shines.

Prior to the start of the show, nationally acclaimed author David Reyes, co-author of the book "Land of 1000 Dances", provided a multi media presentation of some of the research that went into his best selling book, bringing pleasant "oohs" & "ahhs" from the crowd when he spotlighted local Chicano talent that they were unaware had made significant contributions to the American music scene.

Co-sponsored this week by the Fender Center for The Performing Arts, the opening act was one of the fruits of their labor, the "Kids rock free" project, a group of talented youngsters known as "Half Stack".

(The Fender Center in Corona, California, provides exposure to the Art of music to kids in the form of free music lessons, and a chance to perform publicly.)

Playing rock classics 3 times older than them, Half Stack wowed the crowd with an almost flawless performance, getting better after each number as the crowd loudly displayed their appreciation and entertainment. To see kids perform so well, in music that they probably would have never heard of had they not been schooled by a caring older generation, is a testament to the Fender Center's commitment to the Art of Music and their concern for the children who will inherit our Society.

After some brief announcements, legendary trumpeteer Alex Rodriguez performed a beautiful solo rendition of "The Star Bangled Banner", while emerging suprisingly from the midst of the crowd. The U.S. Army National Guard provided a proud and impressive color guard, reminding us all of the sacrifices families here in the U.S. are experiencing while we have our brave young people in uniform serving in the Middle East.

Then it was time for the "big kids", as I was ever so fortunate to introduce my good friends, brother Steven Chavez and his famed East L.A. Revue All Star Band, one of the headliners at this year's 2004 Latin Music Festival, and one of Southern California's hottest Chicano Rock n Roll acts.

To the delight of the good sized crowd who kicked it comfortably in the grass, The Revue Band went through a non-stop set of classic East Side Sound favorites that had the crowd dancing & singing along. The dynamic vocal duet of Maria Conchita Sandoval & Teri Speed were heavily in step, as they easily charmed the crowd with their singing, dancing, and smiles.

To the delight of the crowd, Maria & Teri teased everybody as they took turns crooning "You'll lose a good thing", and Maria outright seduced the audience with her tender rendition of "We belong together". Not one to be ignored, Teri kicked the mood up a notch with her hard hitting version of "Tell mama" that had the Gente rockin' off their blankets as the sun gently set, and the temperatures cooled.

Not wanting the crowd to get cold, the East L.A. Revue All Star Band kept things hot in the dark with hard hitting tunes like "Huggies Bunnies", "Watermelon Man" and "Does anybody really know what time it is?". Not fightin' the feeling any longer, a dance floor developed in front of the stage on the grass where the crowd gladly showed their appreciation for this great band, and some great music!

I said it before, and I'll say it again...my fantasy before I hit that big radio station in the sky, is to someday host a show featuring The East L.A. Revue All Star Band and another of Southern Califas' hottest Chicano Acts, the sizzling SATISFACTION band, and invite EVERYBODY in the World!!
Wow! Wouldn't that be a spectacle to be part of? Wouldn't that be a party? Wouldn't you want to be there?

...there's rumors that SOMEBODY is gonna help me pull this off...SOMEBODY you've all heard of...SOMEBODY as Brown & proud as I am...SOMEBODY you all love........??

Stay tuned to LatinoLA.com, 'cause when it happens, it going to be announced here first!

...who knows where Frankie Firme will show up next?....

About Frankie Firme:
When not enjoying beautiful Southern California sunsets and dancing in the dark, Frankie Firme spins the finest Chicano style Oldies but Goodies on the World Wide Web.
website: www.frankiefirme.50megs.com

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