The Stars come out to play

Gilbert Esquivel & Co. rock The City of Commerce

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: August 17, 2004

The Stars come out to play

Once again, I had the occasion to break with my routine and step out in the middle of the week at the invitation of a friend, and had one hell of a good time.

Once again, that friend that can get me out of the house to party on a Wednesday night was none other than the mega-talented Prince of Chicano Comedy, the incomparable Gilbert Esquivel.

...this time, I brought friends!

So it was, on a crisp Southern Califas summer evening that I find myself at the famed Commerce Casino Lounge, home of Rudy Moreno's Jokers Club, in the enticing City of Commerce, Califas, joining Gilbert and his All Star Jokers Band for a night of laughter, music and good times.

Gilbert has developed a unique blend of popular music, side splitting comedy, all-star jam session, and guest star appearances, all combined like a perfect caldo, served up warm & personal , like only Gilbert can serve it...and free, too!

Dancing, singing, cuttin' up,and involving the audience, while backed up by a talented band that includes Sal Rodriguez of WAR, Hector Gonzalez of Lava & The Hot Rocks, Eddie Avila of El Chicano, Louie Mendez of Los Rock Angels, Issac Avila formerly of TIERRA, vocalist Stefan-E Alvarado,and saxophonist John Burrola, Gilbert and company put on quite a show, that I highly encourage you to catch!

Sitting in the audience, I saw East L.A. Revue's Steven Chavez, Richard "Thee MR." Duran, Guitarist Maxie Rico, and SATISFACTION's Robert Benavides.

To the delight of the crowd, Gilbert called up Robert Benavides, who sang the classic "That's All". Man, I was waiting for chonies to start being tossed when he did this one, as Robert worked the audience like a true star, getting applause & screams from an appreciative crowd, and the band flowing like warm avena.

Then, he called up guitarist Maxie Rico, who played some great Stevie Ray Vaughn & Jimi Hendrix, as only Maxie can. This guy is really good, and his unrehearsed number was a sight to see. This is Gilbert's intention, to invite the stars of Chicano music and have them shine in front of an intimate audience, in a warm environment. Last week, TIERRA's Rudy Salas and a conjunto band from Texas were unexpectantly called up, and Gilbert had them jammin' like they owned the place!

Probably one of the highlights of the evening came when Sal Rodriguez, the drummer of WAR, timbalero extraordinnaire, and a normally a reserved man, must have become infected with Gilbert's enthusiasm & fun spirit as he left his instrument, grabbed a micophone and gave up an entertaining impression of James Brown singing "Cold Sweat" . Dancing funky & going to his knees (even did a few push ups), Sal brought a happy roar from the crowd who probably never knew this middled aged (no hay pedo, Sal) guy had this in him.

Not to be outdone, Gilbert's "little sister", Stefan-E Alvarado, came on stage and busted it wide open with her high octane vocals on "Chain of fools" & "I feel good".

Yo, this girl can wail! And beautiful too! Talk about talent!

That's the way it is when you go to one of Gilbert Esquivel's shows...it's Saturday night con la familia y los homies no matter what day of the week it is!

...who knows where Frankie Firme will show up next?...hmmmmm...only LatinoLA.com knows!

note: Gilbert Esquivel's "East Side Comedy & Music Revue" show happens every Wednesday
at the Commerce Casino Lounge, in The City of Commerce, Califas. Admission is free to all citizens of the planet.

Gilbert's "Chicano Comedy & Music Revue on the Sunset Strip" begins Friday,August 20th, at the world renowned Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood.

Gilbert will also be performing at the 2004 Latin Music Festival September 18th.

For info in this & other events, log onto Gilbert Esquivel's website at: www.eastsidecomedy.com

...and tell him Frankie Firme sent you!

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme spins the finest Chicano style Oldies but Goodies in the World, live, every Thursday on internet radio.
website: www.frankiefirme.50megs.com

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